Saturday, December 02, 2023

Beverlee Connolly, 96

| September 10, 2023 1:00 AM

Beverlee Muriel (Brown) Connolly, 96, a 53-year resident of Priest River, Idaho, passed away Aug. 29, 2023, at Guardian Angel Homes in Liberty Lake, Wash., after a short battle with COVID-19.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, 2-5 p.m. at the Priest River Event Center located at 5399 U.S. 2, Priest River, Idaho.

Bev was born July 12, 1927, at 524 Alice St., Spokane, Wash., to Arthur Brown and Merna (Jessup) Brown. She lived in Kremlin, Mont., then moved to Spokane, where she grew up and graduated from Lewis and Clark High School. After attending WSU in Pullman, she moved back to Spokane and worked at United Pacific Insurance, where she met and trained George Cooper Connolly.

The two married April 26, 1952, at the Central Christian Church in Spokane, then settled in Priest River, where they raised their four children, Mara'd, John, Jeff, and Colleen. They remained a couple for 52 years until George passed away May 31, 2004.

Bev briefly relocated to Hayden Lake, Idaho, then back to Spokane to an apartment at The Tower, where she remained until 2018, when she moved to Evergreen Fountains Senior Living in Spokane Valley. In 2022, she spent a short time at Sunshine Cottages before moving to Guardian Angel Homes later that year.

Bev enjoyed cooking, canning, reading, gardening, knitting, crocheting, and bowling. She and George loved golfing, snow skiing, boating, and fishing together — she even caught an 8-foot blue marlin off the coast of Mexico (She quite often out-fished George, although that was somewhat of a bone of contention). Every summer, you could find them aboard their fishing boat "Girl E" (the enduring nickname George called Bev) or enjoying family gatherings at their cabin on the Pend Oreille River.

Red was a favorite color of both — at one time, their house, station wagon, office, and boat were all red — even the cabin was a light shade of red. They shared a love for travel that took them to Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand; and every winter they became "snowbirds" in Indio, Calif.

Bev loved being a mother of four, active in 4-H and PTA, and a Cub Scout den mother. She was delighted to be a grandmother of eight and adored her 11 great-grandchildren, who lovingly referred to her as "GG."

Her zest and love for life, family, and friends were abundant. Bev was a staple in her community — friendly and social, always a gracious host for happy hour and a game of bridge with the ladies. A bright light, Bev often had the room erupting in tears of laughter (and red-faced embarrassment) with her wild stories and naughty jokes. She was a strong, independent woman; honest to a fault, never shy in sharing her opinions (offensive or not).

Bev was never one to leave the house "without her face on" and freshly painted finger and toenails — dressed to impress in bright pink or red — the more sparkle and shine the better. She was an inspiration to all — active and healthy well into her 80s and 90s — courageous enough to continue her travels to Machu Picchu, Peru, the pyramids of Egypt, down the Danube River in France, and through the Panama Canal.

Her feisty, adventurous spirit will live on in her surviving family members including two daughters, Mara'd (and Jack) Sjostrom of Post Falls, Colleen (and George) Lake of Liberty Lake; two sons, John Connolly (and partner Jennifer Doughty) and Jeff (and Kris) Connolly, both of Priest River; eight grandchildren, Brietta (and Rick) Leader of Sandpoint, Davon Sjostrom of Post Falls, Courtney Connolly (and partner Noah Andrade) of Portland, Ore., Keith (and JoAnne) Connolly of Liberty Lake, Casey (and Justin) Calbert of Twaine Harte, Calif., Brittany (and Josh) Martin of Colbert, Wash., Kyle (and Cyrielle) Lake of Spokane, Wash., and Joel Lake (and partner Terry Wiseman) of Seattle, Wash., 11 great-grandchildren, West Leader, Kole and Finley Sjostrom, Keagan and Kenna Arthur, Riley and Addison Connolly, Stellina and Adagio Lake, and Grace Andrade, and four step-great-grandchildren Josie and Jalen Martin and Eliza and Eva Eppers.

She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Arthur "Artie" Brown Jr. and Jacqueline "Jackie" (Brown) Kimbrough; and brother-in-law John J. "Jack" Connolly.

Our family would like to thank Hospice of Spokane for their exceptional, compassionate care at the end of her life.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the West Bonner Library District, Priest River location, (Attn: Jean Elsaesser), where Bev volunteered for many years.

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