Beverly Diane McKenna passed away in her home in the arms of the Lord and her family on Saturday, March 24, 2012, after an amazing 35-year battle with cancer. She was just three weeks shy of her 70th birthday.
Beverly was originally born Beverly Stein on April 14, 1942, in McKeesport, Pa., to Herbert Stein and Sarah Einzig. At the age of thre years, Beverly lost her own young mother to cancer, and this early tragedy would strengthen her resolve as an adult to persevere through many years of successful treatments for her own cancer journey. In the opinion of her family, Beverly's determination to live life as fully as she was able as a wife, mother, and grandmother in the face of such unlikely odds is by far and away her greatest achievement.
In her early years, she attended both Rhodes Preparatory School in New York City and Briarcliffe College on Long Island. The majority of her adult life was spent in Maine living with her first husband. Her first marriage to Kurt Gray VanHelms lasted 30 years before he died unexpectedly of Guillain-Barre Syndrome at the age of 49. A talented professional photographer and a beautiful dreamer, Kurt was the loving father of Beverly's only child, Shawn Van-Helms Pedi. Beverly's second marriage to Donald J. McKenna brought both her and her daughter out to Arizona in the mid to late 1990s, and here she lived with Donald in Golden Valley until his passing in 2003. Beverly relocated to Kingman soon after.
An administrative assistant in a variety of law enforcement and correctional institutions her whole career in Maine, Beverly prided herself on her work ethic and brought her skills to Kingman to apply them at Mohave Mental Health before she finally retired. She always made it clear to anyone who would listen, however, that having a daughter and a granddaughter was without question the most important thing in her life, above and beyond career or anything else.
Beverly spent the last several weeks of her final journey receiving wonderful care from both the KRMC Hospice House and the KRMC Hospice outpatient staff. According to Beverly's expressed wishes, her remains are being cremated by Sutton Memorial Funeral Home and scattered in a private ceremony by her family on Easter Sunday. Beverly's family will be planning a participation and donation with the KRMC Hospice House later in the spring and strongly encourages anyone wishing to honor "Bev's" memory to do the same in lieu of flowers and cards.
Our family has so many kind and wonderful people to thank for assisting in Beverly's care over the last several years that the list is almost overwhelming, so if we accidentally miss someone, please know that we are still grateful in our hearts to you!
We gratefully thank all of the staff and volunteers at KRMC Hospice, The Gardens, Angels on Duty, the KRMC ICU unit, the KRMC Cancer Center and their staff and volunteers who supported Beverly in her cancer treatment for many years, Dr. Bokhari's office and his wonderful staff, Dr. Kevin Brown's office, Uptown Drug and the Pharmacy staff at Safeway. We thank the First Pentecostal Church of God and Pastor Grimmet and Pastor Pashano for their prayers for Beverly and their support of her during her final weeks. We also thank Chris and Christy Martell, Jan Ludsic of Mohave Mental Health who was a longtime supporter and friend, Jeanine Siebert and Michael Pedi for all of their help over the last couple of years.
For prayers and good wishes offered, we also thank Teresa Reaume and the volunteer ladies of the Advice and Aid Pregnancy Center. Last, a big thank you to Reverend Connie Van Sant of Unity of Kingman, who freely offered her time for counseling and prayer.
Beverly is survived by her daughter Shawn Pedi, son-in-law Marty Pedi and her granddaughter Fiona Pedi.