After gracing us with her infectious smile for 91 years, Doris Lee [Carpenter] Beardsley has gone to Glory. This little woman had a great heart, which beat its last on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.
Doris was born on a farm on the prairie of eastern Colorado, near Vona, on March 10, 1926 to Cleveland and Elsie Mae (Helfrich) Carpenter, the seventh of eight children. After the farm failed during the Dust Bowl, the family moved into Vona where Doris was valedictorian of her class. After graduation, she enlisted in the U.S. Army Cadet Nurses Corps and received her RN from Presbyterian Hospital in Denver, Colorado. She met and married Art Beardsley while in Denver, and after briefly living in Nebraska they settled down in Belleville, KS in 1950. About 3 years later they moved to Russell, where their two children were born, Robert (Bobby) Lee and Terri Sue. In 1957 they returned to Belleville, where Doris lived the rest of her life, apart from several years in Topeka.
As a nurse, Doris was devoted to children, and spent the beginning and end of her career at what was then known as the Kansas Crippled and Chronically Ill Children Program, first as a circuit nurse and later in the Topeka office. Nursing was Doris’ life, and while living in Topeka also took a part-time position as a night nurse at the Topeka State Hospital. Between those stints, in Belleville, she spent some 20 years as the lead nurse for Dr. Chaney and Dr. Doubek at the Republic County Clinic. After retirement, Doris devoted herself to her community, serving as Belleville’s first female mayor and on the City Council. She also served on the Board of Directors of Pawnee Mental Health Services, and worked to restore the Blair Theater in Belleville. Always in motion, even after moving to Country Place Assisted Living, she was known for her sled riding and her hula hoop, and for winning at horse races.
Doris was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Mary, Clara, Maxine and Lois, her brothers Junior and Ed, and her daughter, Terri Sue Prehm. She is survived by her sister, Georgia (Dothan, AL), her son Bob (Leavenworth, KS) and her grandson, Tyler Prehm (Los Angeles, CA), as well as her many friends. A memorial service will be held at the Belleville United Presbyterian Church on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 1:00 pm. She lived well, laughed often and loved much and will be sorely missed, but the dance of life goes on.
Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home, Belleville, Kansas is in charge of these arrangements.