Obituary: Evelyn Beckman Connelly

Beloved grandmother, longtime PVHMC nurse, traveler, Pomona College grad

Evelyn Marion Connelly, born October 8, 1941, died peacefully October 26 with her family at her side, in Bothell, Washington. She was 81 years old. She had, with her typical courage, pragmatism, and resoluteness, battled progressive supranuclear palsy for several years.

Evelyn was born in Chicago, the daughter of Virginia Sachse Hoff and Osbjorn Hoff. At age six the family moved to Berkeley, California, where she spent her childhood.

She graduated with high academic honors from Berkeley High School in 1959, where she served as editor of the school yearbook. In the same year, she married Tad Beckman and enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. Later, the young couple moved to Minneapolis, where she continued her undergraduate studies. When Tad became a professor at Harvey Mudd College, they moved to Claremont, where she went on to finish her undergraduate degree in history at Pomona College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, in 1963.

She juggled school and motherhood, giving birth to her daughter Kari in 1962, prior to her graduation. She became a homemaker and gave birth to her son Jeff in 1965. She was a devoted and loving mom, who loved reading bedtime stories to her kids. When her marriage ended, she went back to school to get her nursing degree while also working part time. As a single mom, she coached her son’s soccer team and wasn’t afraid to tackle construction projects around the house.  She was resourceful, resilient, and determined.

She worked at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center for more than 30 years. In the latter years of her career, she was the head nurse of the hospital’s post cardiac care unit, where she earned the respect of many. She was devoted to being healthy and active and often participated in marathons and in educating others regarding healthy heart habits.

In August of 2000, she married John Connelly, and they enjoyed many years of shared adventures together after their retirement. In 2006, they moved to Washington to be closer to family and to explore the Pacific Northwest. They particularly enjoyed trips to the Canadian Rockies, Alaska and Hawaii, and many memorable cruises. They had just observed their 22nd  wedding anniversary in August 2022.

She was devoted to her grandchildren and made efforts to attend as many sports games, birthdays, and other important events as possible. Both she and John enjoyed spending time with family and grandchildren.

She also had a lifelong love of the outdoors, and enjoyed hiking, backpacking, and camping. She had a special love for the high country of Yosemite National Park, where many early years were spent hiking and camping. She also enjoyed gardening and decorating and was known for always decorating her home to celebrate the season.

Evelyn is survived by her husband John; daughter Kari (Patrick) Hanley and son Jeff (Kathy) Beckman; and grandchildren Travis (Jessie) Beckman, Taylor Beckman, Tara Beckman, Aidan Hanley, and Zachary Hanley.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Virginia Walker, and father, Osbjorn Hoff; and sister, Sonja Hoff.

Following her wishes, the family will celebrate her life privately.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the CurePSP Foundation at psp.org are welcome.

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