Florence Mary Beeson
May 4, 1927 – November 18, 2020
Florence Mary Rock Beeson, 93, of Lynchburg, VA passed away Wednesday, November 18, 2020. She was the wife of the late Jeffrey Douglas Beeson.
Born in Hull, England, May 4, 1927, she was the daughter of the late Joseph George Alexander Rock and Grace Peachey Rock. She earned her medical degree from Leeds University in England in 1953. She and her husband moved their young family to the United States in 1958. She became a United States citizen in 1964. She was a practicing physician for 30 years having retired from the East Orange VA Medical Center in New Jersey. She was a lifetime member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in New City, NY.
She is survived by three sons, Phillip Beeson and his wife Cathy of Lynchburg, VA, Jonathan Beeson of Coral Springs, FL and Thomas Beeson and his wife Hiromi of Rolling Meadows, IL; one sister, Bessie Rock Martindale and husband Robert of Newport in Shropshire, England; and one brother, Joseph Rock and Agnes Kruse of Oslo, Norway. She had 12 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service celebrating her life and faith will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at Whitten Timberlake Chapel with the Rev. Lew Weider officiating. The service will be livestreamed and can be viewed at www.facebook.com/whittenfuneralhome.
The family will receive friends for one hour prior to the service.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org or St. John’s Episcopal Church, 365 Strawtown Rd., New City, NY 10956, www.stjohnsnewcity.net.
Florence Mary Rock Beeson, daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, physician. Florence, Flossie, Flo, Auntie Florence, Mom, Grandma B, Dr. Rock.
She was born in Hull, England, on May 4, 1927. Her mother died when she was 7 and her father was stationed with the British Army in India. Florence, brother Joe and sister Bess went to live with Grandma and Grandad Rock in the factory cottages in Stoneferry next to the paint factory where Grandad worked. They attended Stoneferry Methodist Church where her faith began to grow.
Teenage years were challenging. Grandad lost his left arm in an accident at the factory. Grandma got sick. She and Bess took over running the household. Nightly everyone hurried to the air raid shelter when the warning siren sounded. (Hull is an industrial seaport and was the second most bombed city in England in World War II). Through it all, Mom was the valedictorian of her class at Malet Lambert High School in 1946.
The young woman from the factory cottages made it to Leeds University and medical school graduating in 1953. Dr. Florence Rock married Dr. Jeffrey Beeson in January 1954. She began her medical practice as a house physician doing pediatrics and obstetrics in Wakefield England.
Phil and Jon were born in 1955 and 1956. The young family bravely immigrated to the United States in 1958 and went to live in Colonial Heights, Virginia. In 1960 they moved to the West Nyack NY house next to the woods and creek. Tom was born in 1962. In 1967, the family moved across Clarkstown to New City. Mom was a full time mother for 12 years until Tom was 5 and started at Woodglen Elementary School. She was a class mother, homework tutor, activity taxi driver, Sunday School teacher, medical lecturer for the American Cancer Society, member of the English Ladies and more. She took the three boys to all the local and state parks and historical sites. She loved nature and walks through the woods at the West Nyack house which were followed by watching the birds (and the squirrels) on the bird feeders in the back yard in New City as well as watching the chipmunks climb all over the rock walls in the back yard in New City. Mom sat and knitted at PTA and church meetings and while watching TV.
In 1968 she re-ignited her medical career and at 41 became the oldest intern Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey had then ever had. She did her residency at Hackensack Hospital and was on staff through 1974. In her spare time, she taught classes at Bergen Community College in NJ. She juggled a busy career and running a household with three active sons, ferrying sons back and forth to activities.
In 1975, she joined the medical staff at the East Orange, NJ Veterans Administration Medical Center where she pursued her cardio-pulmonary specialty. She commuted up and down the Garden State Parkway to proudly work at the VA for the next 18 years. Twice her hard work and dedication paid off as she was named the Doctor of the Year for the East Orange VA Medical Center. In her last few years, she juggled work and taking care of Dad whose health continued to decline. She retired from the VA in October 1992.
Dad died in January 1993. Mom stayed active and spent the next 20 years as a busy volunteer at St. John’s Episcopal Church in New City - lay reader, chalice bearer for Communion, Sunday School teacher, Bible studies on Tuesdays, summer camps for the children and many other activities wherever she could help out. In her spare time, she sat vigil for hospice and calmly shared her hope and prayers with people of all faiths in their last days.
Mom’s greatest passion was her family. She traveled time and again to Florida, Illinois and Virginia to laugh and play and help with the grandchildren. She read, she played, she laughed, and she loved one and all. She went home to England for weddings and to see family. She called Bess often and they carried on across the phone line.
In 2014 Mom moved to Lynchburg, Virginia for her final days. She attended Thomas Road Baptist Church where the Homebuilders Class got to know her. She laughed and played with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A special thanks here to the director and staff at Runk & Pratt, Leesville Road, who patiently and kindly took great care of Mom in her last 16 months, 8 of which were the lonely and frightening COVID days for nursing home residents.
And then she left us to walk upright, to tell her stories and to be active and loving to all in heaven.
Here is a poem that Mom liked to finish off this story of a life well lived:
When I’m dead, cry for me a little, think of me sometimes – but not too much. Think of me now and again – as I was in life, at some moments it is pleasant to recall, but not for too long.
Leave me in peace, and I will leave you in peace, and while you live let your thoughts be for the living.
Memorial Celebration of Life
Whitten Timberlake Chapel
Florence Mary Beeson
November 22, 2020
My most sincere condolences to Phil, John, Tom and all of their families. May God Bless and console you all.
I have many fond memories of visiting with my brother to your family home in new city. I especially enjoyed being invited to stay for dinner from time to time; particularly, when her wonderfully prepared roasted lamb was being served. Mrs. Beeson thank you for all you have done. I am glad to have known you! Got Bless your sole! Rest in Peace!
Warmest regards to all,
November 22, 2020
A lady of remarkable patience, care and understanding, I am proud to have been part of her life and family, to worship with her and share time and fun with them all. X