Patsy Beattie left this world on Saturday, February 27, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona, after 86 wondrous years. She was surrounded by her loving family.
Patsy was born Patsy Jean McCauley in Boulder, Colorado on January 10, 1924, the daughter of H.C. and Ethel McCauley. She was one of seven children in the family. She graduated from Boulder High School in 1941, and from the University of Colorado College of Music in 1945 with honors as a pianist.
Patsy’s immense musical talent was evident at an early age, as she danced, sang and played piano. As a girl in Boulder, she played the organ for the Christian Church from the age of 7. She entertained during intermissions at the new “talkies” at the Boulder Theater, and for countless social and civic organizations. When she competed on Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour, she won second place for playing the piano and first place for tap dancing. She was featured as a dancer in the movie “Running Wild,” filmed in Boulder. She learned rope handling from the school of Tom Mix, a skill she kept well into her 80s.
As the prettiest girl at Boulder High School, she stole the heart of the handsome Head Boy (student body president) and valedictorian, Lyle Beattie. He was a bit conservative, she was more than a bit flamboyant, and it was a perfect match. They were married on February 19, 1944, the day Lyle received his commission as a naval officer and two weeks before he shipped out to the South Pacific. They celebrated their 66th anniversary this year.
As a student at CU in the war years, Patsy was the piano accompanist of the University of Colorado choir for four years. She was chosen Navy Days Queen. She and other McCauley family members entertained the troops at Camp Hale. Ever glamorous, she was the cover girl on a college publication called the Colorado Dodo, in an elegant pose next to a street sign with the message “No Parking on Curves.”
After the war and some time in Boulder and California, Patsy and Lyle and their growing family moved to Glenwood Springs, Colorado in 1953. Glenwood Springs was their main home until recent years, when they relocated to Arizona. During the Glenwood years, Patsy played the piano for the Methodist Church, and taught piano to dozens of students. Starting in the 1960s, hundreds of Glenwood Springs High School students (many of them non-Methodists) voluntarily and enthusiastically participated in the Methodist Youth Choir, directed by Joan Anderson and accompanied by Patsy. In the 1980s and ’90s Patsy accompanied the Mountain Madrigal Singers, with her daughter Lorie directing, and sons Brent and Steve in the bass section. She was a proud member of P.E.O. She was a wonderful golfer, with trophies including the 1963 Glenwood Golf Club flight medalist, the 1990 Sopris Restaurant Westbank Lady Golfer of the Year, and others before and after.
Patsy and Lyle began wintering in Arizona in 1980, and located in 1996 as residents of Oro Valley. They have been members of Oro Valley Country Club for 30 years.
Patsy Beattie was a fabulous cook and homemaker, providing magical celebrations for her friends and family. Her many gifts included sewing, needlepoint and knitting treasures, beautiful gardens, and piano students who love music because of her inspiration. Whether golfing, accompanying for choirs or mesmerizing audiences with her incomparable pianistic skills, Patsy gave of her heart to those she loved.
The Patsy and Lyle love story resulted in four children. Steve Beattie (Sharon), Lorie Beattie Courier (John), Kerry Smith (Steve), and Brent Beattie. She adored her seven grandchildren and their spouses Justin (Becky), Mandy (Robin) , Travis (Cathy), Wade, Patsy (Adam), Lee (Jodi), and Kristal. Her latest family joy was a great-granddaughter (Ella Beattie), and an expected great-grandson (Matthew Beattie Keller). She devoted her life to instilling her values in her children. She took extreme pride that every one of her 19 surviving children, grandchildren and spouses is a college graduate now practicing each’s profession.
Of all her many accomplishments, she was proudest of her family. She inspired a love of music, a love of family, a dedication to excellence and courage to reach for the unreachable star. She is now our bright and shining star. We will see her in beautiful sunrises and be thankful in breathtaking sunsets. The sounds of music will accompany those who knew her, and set their hearts singing.
A celebration of Patsy’s life was held at Oro Valley Country Club on March 5, 2010, for her Arizona friends .
A memorial service will be held in Glenwood Springs on Monday, March 22, at 2 PM at the First United Methodist Church. Any contributions may be made to Casa de la Luz, 400 West Magee Road, Tucson, Arizona 85704.
“I’ll fly away oh glory, I’ll fly away.
When I die hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away.”
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