Oct 10, 1929 – Apr 14, 2018
Earline was born in Seattle along with her twin brother Earl; they remained as close as you can imagine during their long and fulfilling lives. She was very proud of being a twin, and of being a lifetime resident of this beautiful area. During her life she faced challenges with quiet dignity, a resilient spirit and a determination to maintain a positive outlook for the future.
Though born in Ballard, having settled in Des Moines in 1964, she made it her forever home, and could not have imagined living any where else. From the beginning, and for the next fifty years, she dedicated herself to spending her time committed to the benefit of her beloved community. In 2010, Earline was one of the first recipients of the Spirit of Des Moines Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was in recognition of her service in multiple community organizations, such as the Library Board, the Parks and Recreation Board and the Human Services and Senior Services Committees, just to name a few. Earline was very proud to have been deeply involved in the Waterland Festival, the Fireworks over Des Moines, the annual Christmas tree lighting, the spring hanging of flowers and baskets throughout the city, and was the creator of the Funny Boat Race in 1979. She was honored to have been the Grand Marshall of the 2011 Waterland Parade. Each time we pass the ‘Big Catch’ plaza, we can all give a nod to Earline, as she was instrumental in its selection and placement. More than just developing local activities, Earline spent countless hours conducting city council candidate forums, represented Des Moines to the King County METRO Citizens committee; having sat many times on the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, she was a firm believer that in order to affect change you must participate.
In 1995, Earline began writing a regular column, ‘Over the Fence’, for the Des Moines/Highline Times. This was a dream opportunity for her, as she was able to share her love of the community with everyone. She loved hearing from others that she had somehow touched their lives in a positive way with her words and anecdotes.
In addition to writing about Des Moines, she would occasionally be allowed to brag about her family. Though she clearly had a deep love for community, her two children, Cindy Beasley and the late Paul Den, were, in her words ‘My greatest achievement in this life; a legacy I am so proud of.’ She was also so very proud of and adored her five grandchildren who were blessed to have time with her to hear all of her wonderful stories. Anyone who knew Earline will recall that they never saw her without a canine companion; all of them well loved and giving her their unconditional love; sweet Katrina was with her to the very end and misses her as dearly as any member of her family. Earline was blessed in her life to have shared a deeply loving marriage with her best friend, Gordon ‘Gordy’ Byers, who, along with her son Paul and many other adored family members, has surely greeted her with open arms so that they may now spend eternity together.
Though a prolific writer herself, she deferred to the great Ralph Waldo Emerson when trying to express her definition of success:
“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.”
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.