Carolyn Ann Beckman, age 52, passed away peacefully in her home in Chelan on May 8, 2016, surrounded by love and family. The cause of death was metastatic breast cancer.
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on May 23, 1963 to John and Lily (Knott) Beckman, Carolyn was one of seven children. Vibrant and graceful, she started dancing at an early age and enjoyed dancing and music her whole life. After a childhood move to Western Springs, Illinois, Carolyn graduated from Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Illinois, in 1981 and from the University of Iowa in 1986 with a double major in elementary education and secondary Spanish. She then began her nearly 30-year career in bilingual elementary education. Carolyn earned a master’s degree in whole learning education from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, in 1999.
Carolyn was always drawn to north central Washington and in 2001, she moved to the Methow Valley. She settled in the Chelan Valley in 2004, where she was a teacher at the Manson Elementary School for the last 12 years. In addition to her unwavering dedication to her students, Carolyn was passionate about family, music, books, dance, social justice, chocolate and the outdoors. Carolyn was beloved by all whose lives she touched and will forever be remembered for the joy, laughter, and care she shared so freely. She is preceded in death by her parents and her late husband, Kenny Binkley. She is survived by her step-mother, Julia K. Beckman of Darien, Illinois; her siblings, Peggy Alvarez (Frank) of Vancouver, Washington, Kathy Goldberg (Michael Notaro) of Carlton, Dr. Jeanne Beckman of Winnetka, Illinois, John Beckman of Joliet, Illinois, Jim Beckman of Berwyn, Illinois, Jill Beckman (David Gaynes) of Montclair, New Jersey; step-siblings Benjamin Blume (Christiane) of Wheaton, Illinois, Alec Blume (Gina) of Lisle, Illinois, Dr. Eileen Gavin (James) of Merrill, Wisconsin; and many adoring nieces and nephews. She is also survived by former husband and dear friend Dale Mason, and their sweet dog, Chai.
A celebration of Carolyn’s life will be held on July 2 at 3 p.m. at the Manson High School Commons. Carolyn’s large collection of children’s books will be available, and all children are welcome to select one to take home.
For those who would like to make donations, the family asks that gifts be made on Carolyn’s behalf to a fund that is being set up to support the school library. Checks should be made out to the Manson School District and include a note stating that it is for the Carolyn Beckman Fund for the Elementary School Library. Mail to Manson School District, P.O. Box A, Manson, WA 98831. Donations may be tax deductible; check with your financial adviser.