Elizabeth "Beth" Wheeler
"I've had a wonderful life surrounded by love and beauty." Repeated often, and among her last words, Elizabeth "Beth" Wheeler left us November 3 rd , passing peacefully at her home in Mancos, Colorado, after sharing her love of life one last time with the Wheeler and Folsom families, under the tender care of Anne Jensen. As one card she received stated, "You are Kind, Courageous, Strong, Determined, Inspiring, and Loved. " Beth's smile would light up a room.

"Cancer sucks." Beth wanted friends and readers to know the four signs of ovarian cancer: Bloating, eating less and feeling full, abdominal pain, and bowel trouble. In her amazing positive way, she was proud to have recently contributed to research at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Passionate about calligraphy, music, hiking, rafting, travel, reading, and writing, Beth held a variety of reading education positions in Arizona, Mancos, and New Mexico. Known for her genuine concern for life and learning, Beth taught reading to Navajo children for 13 years.

Born in Kentucky and raised in Wolcott, Indiana, an opportunity to work at Mesa Verde N.P. brought Beth to southwest Colorado. There she met the love of her life, Herb Folsom, and their "dog of a lifetime" Hermosa. Actively engaged in a wide array of local arts, music, cultural and environmental organizations, Beth added to the beauty and vitality of the Mancos Valley community.

Beth is survived by her husband of 32 years, sister Lisa Friedman (Randy), and brothers Fred Wheeler and Eric Wheeler (Allison).

Beth's wish was for people to donate to the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance or Mancos Valley Resources Nordic Trails. Specify that the gift is for "Beth's Barn", a shelter to protect cross-country trail grooming equipment.

A memorial celebration will be held next spring in Colorado.
Published by Pine River Times on Nov. 9, 2021.
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19 Entries
Beth was one of the loveliest people I'll ever meet. Every time she'd walk in, her smile, laughter, and passion for her students would brighten my little bookshop. Beth was a true gift to so many and I shall miss her greatly!
Terry Hutchison
Other
November 27, 2021
Laughter and a ready smile. That was Beth in a nutshell. Beth brought joy and fun wherever she was. She leaves a very large hole in our lives, that can be filled only by following her example of love, laughter, and joy.
Megg Heath and John Beezley
Work
November 17, 2021
Davis & Kathy
Family
November 16, 2021
Davis & Kathy
Family
November 16, 2021
Davis & Kathy
Family
November 16, 2021
I had the privilege of spending a week with Beth in Houston over Labor Day. What a gift that week was for me . We laughed, cried and hoped. She was my sister in law and so loved by me and all of our family. Her legacy will live on in our acts of love. We, Davis and Kathy are in awe of the community of friends who embrace and support Beth and Herb. Here are a few great photos of a trip we shared in France just after Beth retired.
Davis & Kathy
Family
November 16, 2021
Beth always had a smile and kind words. She was an all around beautiful human. We had fun tap dancing together for many years and I am grateful for having known her.
Lisa Self
November 15, 2021
We met Beth first through music (Vixen), then through MVNat Park as Lucy Peabody, then through school as her volunteer in New Mexico, and always as our loving and compassionate friend. We miss you so. Much love to Herb.
Linda and Duncan Rose
November 14, 2021
The last time I visited with Beth I told her that she was the absolutely most kind and loving lady in Mancos. She was always considerate and giving. We shared our Shiprock teaching experiences and how we loved the Navajo students. My heartfelt condolences go to Herb and all her family members. Beth had such optimism and courage through it all and will always be an inspiration to those who have known her. God bless you, Beth!
Barbara Rousseau, Mancos
Friend
November 12, 2021
Beth had great love of music and it came out in so many ways! As I knew her, this surfaced through playing hand drums, djembe. She and Herb spent many hours with me smiling and basking in the ancient rhythms. Condolences to Herb and those that knew her shining, supportive spirit. Blessings to her and the family.Du-- go do Du-- go do Du-- go do Du-- go do.......
Lawrence Nass
November 12, 2021
Everyone who knew Beth was blessed by her kind, sweet, radiant spirit. Condolences to Herb and all family and friends who will dearly miss her.
Maureen (Cavanaugh) Howell
November 11, 2021
Friendship requires attention, energy, and time. Beth and I shared our friendship for many years. *Tap dancing, as we are pictured, awaiting a dance recital, was one of Beth's loves! And she was a fabulous tapper, always learning the syncopated steps easily, with the help of her musical drumming and rhythm talent! *Paddling our inflatable kayaks, Punkin & Smirf, down the San Juan River. Calm water plus rapids! *Laughing together-- we laughed a lot! And her laugh was the BEST! I have learned from Beth: To be more kind, compassionate, nonjudgmental, to be present in the moment, and to spend more time in joy-producing activities, with those people we truly enjoy! Each time I see a loved one suffering in pain, and I give the most possible support and comfort to that person, and then experience the pain of loss, I gain empathy. And for this, I am grateful, for any opportunity to share and connect with others in need. As Herb says, "We are all here to do for others."
Anne Jensen
Friend
November 11, 2021
I worked with Beth for a number of years when she taught struggling students to read at Central Consolidated Schools in Shiprock, NM. I know she was a positive influence on children and adults alike. I tried to emulate her calligraphy skills, but never could! My sincere condolences to Herb and family.
Karen Rodberg
November 11, 2021
Beth and I met at Mesa Verde when we both worked in the research center and became life-long friends. She was a positive joy in every way, always upbeat and ready for the next adventure. I will miss her deeply. The photograph is of the two of us in March 1985 on the mesa. In loving memory, Louise
Louise Stiver
November 10, 2021
I was very sad to hear of Beth's death. My condolences to Herb and the family.
Christine Stramel
November 10, 2021
Beth was a wonderful lady . . . she will be sorely missed by all of her family and friends. Recall her positive attitude and be inspired to live that way too. her entire community.
John Ressler
Family
November 10, 2021
Beth was such a positive, energetic, and enthusiastic lover of life. We mourn her loss, and celebrate her life and all the good she brought to so many. Long live the spirit of Beth Wheeler!
Karl Herr
Friend
November 10, 2021
Beth was my cousin on the Frey side of the family. She, my cousin, Marsha, and I were born in the same year to the 3 Frey sisters. We always shared a special bond. How blessed we were to have Beth fly in from her cancer treatments in Texas, to be with us at the bi-annual Frey reunion this past July. Playing her ukulele, singing, laughing, smiling, and sharing with us for 3 days, is something that I, and the rest of the family, will always treasure. She shined her light on us one last time! Our reunions will never be the same without her. John Miller
John & Rebecca Miller
Family
November 10, 2021
Very sorry to hear about Beth. She was a wonderful teacher, and a wonderful woman. She will be missed!
Mark Allen
Friend
November 9, 2021
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