LINCOLNVILLE – Betty Ann (Lundquist) Beach passed from this world and into the great mystery in the early morning of July 29, 2022, at home in Lincolnville. She was born July 25, 1947 in Worcester, Massachusetts to Stig Lundquist and Vivian Anderson Lundquist.
Betty was raised Lutheran within the Swedish-American immigrant community in Holden, Massachusetts. Always a top student known for her early dedication to issues of social justice, she found her life calling working with poor Black children, first as a college student in Chicago and then as a VISTA Volunteer in South Carolina. Betty met her husband, Christopher Beach, while in VISTA. After finishing college, they moved to Stonington, Maine in 1971, where her long career in early childhood education began as the Island Head Start teacher. In 1978 her long career at the University of Maine-Farmington began, as the teaching supervisor of its early childhood laboratory school. From the beginning Betty emphasized the importance of active parent participation in all early childhood programs. With her colleagues, Betty developed the UMF program into a full Bachelor’s degree program, graduating many of Maine’s leading professionals in early childhood education and day care. While serving her students and families at UMF, Betty completed her Master and Ph.D. degrees in early childhood education and family studies. Betty’s teaching, professional research and publications always focused on the challenges working mothers face balancing job opportunities and demands with their aspirations to be good mothers for their children.
Betty herself always balanced her professional career with equal attention to her happy private life as a homesteading wife, mother, shepherd, and gardener, at her beloved Allen Brook farm in Wilton, Maine. Betty loved raising her only child, Jed, and watching him grow and learn and find his own way in life. Betty was happy when Jed found Emilia, the love of his life, and they began their own “home-work” farm to raise their own children in. In retirement, Betty was happy to let the next generation take over the challenges in early childhood education and child care that never seem to end. She was happy tending her flock of sheep, producing fleeces and yarns for sale at local yarn shops, gathering eggs from her chickens, and gardening.
Betty was serving as a hospice volunteer for Androscoggin Home Health when she experienced the first stages of Alzheimer’s dementia. Over several years, she gradually lost her ability to live independently - driving her car, paying bills, gardening, reading, and caring for her sheep, chickens, dogs, and cats. In 2021, her family decided to relocate Betty from Allen Brook Farm to Jed and Emilia ’s 3 Bug Farm in Lincolnville. In her new home, Betty was cared for by her husband Chris Beach, supported by her family and elder caregivers Lola Shaw, Patricia Shannon and Susan Rand Larkin. For the last two months of her long decline, Betty was provided home hospice palliative care by the MaineHealth Care at Home professionals, further supported by neurologist Dr. Robert Stein, pastor Rev. Elizabeth Barnum, andmany loving members of the United Christian Church in Lincolnville. While Betty’s ability to speak was severely diminished by this point, she still expressed her appreciation of their assistance, telling each caregiver distinctly they were “a good person.”
Betty was predeceased by her parents and her brother Eric Lundquist. Betty is survived by her husband of 54 years, Chris Beach; her son Jedediah Lundquist Beach, his wife Emilia Carbone, and four grandsons Ray, Silas, Luca, and Tait; her sisters Marilyn Planny and Kathleen Hall; her sister-in-law Sherry Lundquist, nephews Adam Lundquist, Jesse Lundquist and Alex Lundquist, and niece Kate Lundquist Callaghan; and the cousins and grandnieces she corresponded and visited with in Sweden, Massachusetts, and Florida. In addition, Betty will be sorely missed by her longtime colleagues and friends Marcia and Jerry Nash, Melanie and Bob Pullo, Betsy Squibb, Ann Lynch, and by her fellow church members at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Wilton and United Christian Church-Lincolnville. Betty’s final expression of joy in life came during a recent bedside visit with her four young grandsons. Prompted by young voices, she awoke from sleep, smiled broadly and quietly spoke to each one of them. While her words were difficult to comprehend, her message was clear – they were all good boys, who would have happy lives, and she loved them well.
A memorial service for Betty will be held on Saturday, September 10th 11 am, at the UCC-Lincolnville Church and Lincolnville Community Center, located at 18 Searsmont Road in Lincolnville Center, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a Community Fund, Women and Children’s Organization, Hospice Care, or Animal Shelter of your choice. Memories and condolences may be shared on her tribute wall.