Coping with Grief
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Mary Elizabeth was born in Big Bear California in 1950, the second of four children. A year later, she and her big brother Terry, got a little sister, Cathie and a few years after that Candi arrived to complete the foursome. They were raised by Dorothy Williams in Orange County. Mary Beth graduated from Artesia (now John F. Kennedy) High School in 1968. As a teenager, Mary Beth excelled in the colorguard and was a rifle and sword thrower with the locally famous Kingsmen Drum and Bugle Corps.
In 1970, Mary Beth started her own family. Julie Marie arrived in December and a few years later, in January 1973, Paul Edward was born. Mary Beth lived briefly in Las Vegas where she worked in the casinos and returned to Orange county in the mid 1970s. Mary Beth was a single parent, raising Julie and Paul and working initially as a waitress until going back to school to learn medical transcription. In the 1980s Mary Beth started working at Fullerton Cardiovascular Medical Group doing transcription, but then learned medical billing. Julie and Paul graduated from La Habra High School in 1989 and 1991 and Mary Beth continued working at FCMG, now managing the business office. While living in La Habra, Mary Beth also joined a dart league where she met the love of her life, Bruno Rasmussen.
Mary Beth and Bruno married in 1994 and Mary Beth became a stepmother to her youngest child, Jason Lee who was 13. Bruno, Mary Beth and Jason lived in La Habra for a few more years, but the pull of Big Bear was strong and in December 1995, they moved up the mountain, initially settling in Moonridge. Jason switched to Big Bear High School and Mary Beth started working for a doctor’s office up here. Bruno continued to commute to Ontario daily.
Soon Mary Beth and Bruno bought the house in Big Bear City and Mary Beth began working at Bear Valley Community Hospital, eventually becoming the Director of Patient Financial Services and Chief Compliance Officer. Jason graduated from Big Bear High in 1998. Mary Beth and Bruno continued playing darts, joining a league in Big Bear and loved lake life, riding around in their small boat and fishing. In 2000, Elijah arrived and Mary Beth became a Mimi. Mary Beth and Bruno shined as grandparents. “Mimi” and “Papa Bruno” loved their grandkids with all of their heart and loved hosting their growing family for holidays filled with food, laughter and karaoke.
Mary Beth and Bruno also loved traveling. Whether it was to Texas to visit the Elijah, Jacob and Dylan or to Philadelphia to visit Matthew, Astra and Catie (and Paul, Danielle, Julie and Micheal, but let’s be real—it was to visit the grandkids!) or weekend trips to Salvang, Mary Beth and Bruno traveled as much as possible. They loved RVing and In 2004 they took it to a new level and bought the famous Dutch Bounder! For the next several years they traveled the country, camping in the rv with Roxy and visiting nearly every part of the country and national parks, from the vastness of Yellowstone to the breathtaking views of Yosemite. Other favorites included Sante Fe, Nashville, and who can forget Erick, Oklahoma, the home of Roger Miller. When Bruno’s health prevented longer trips, they would take the Dutch Bounder to a spot near the Big Bear dam for a day trip, fishing and relaxing.
In 2011, Mary Beth lost her beloved Bruno after a long illness. A few months later Jason and Janisseth welcomed the youngest grandchild, little Jason into the world. Mary Beth loved spending time with little Jason, line dancing at Wyatts, gardening, cooking and baking cookies.
RV travel was not the same without Bruno, so Mary Beth said goodbye to the Dutch Bounder, selling it to a group of surfers who quickly painted it all black and are no doubt still travel the country in it.
In 2014 Mary Beth retired from Bear Valley Community Hospital. Over the next several years she traveled the world, visiting more countries than we can count, including Ireland, Iceland, Spain, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Costa Rica and cruises to Alaska, Aruba, Hawaii and the Panama Canal. She also visited her beloved Angels in Spring training with her brother Terry and niece Theresa and continued to travel to Texas to visit the Hollands and Philadelphia for Christmas with the Kinkopfs. Up until the end, Mary Beth was busy planning her next trip.
At home in Big Bear, Mary Beth loved spending time with her “kids” Barry, Roxy, Sammy and Fireball, taking them for walks along the bike path or snuggling in her chair with them on her lap while she watched the Angels on T.V. In the winter she loved doing puzzles and in the summer was passionate about gardening and planting roses.
Mary Beth loved Big Bear and being involved in the community. Mary Beth was especially proud of being a key player in Big Bear committee that successfully sponsored a Rose Parade Float in 2018-19. Being a part of the gardening club, Red Hats, Senior center, Octoberfest, Bowling League…etc etc etc. Mary Beth was always on the go!
On January 9, 2024 Mary Beth was with Fireball having been reunited after a long hospital stay when Jesus called her home.