Jennifer Lynn Beaty, age 45, of Suttons Bay, finished her life amongst us on July 11 at Munson Hospice House following a long illness.
Jennifer was born in Howell on March 12, 1972 to Russell and Leta (Stokes) Beaty. She grew up in Hartland and in Elk Rapids.
She loved riding her bike, attending parties and weddings, caring for her nieces and nephews, doing word search puzzles and both watching and playing sports. She participated in Special Olympics well into her adulthood, winning numerous regional, state and national ribbons and medals.
Jennifer loved holidays, and her favorites were Christmas, and especially Halloween. She owned a vast collection of scary movies and loved to dress up as a vampire or Freddie Krueger for the holiday.
After graduating from Traverse City Schools in 1998, Jennifer resided in several places before finding the home of her dreams at Beverly Farm in Godfrey, Illinois. There, she happily lived, worked and recreated with her friends. Following the diagnosis of a serious chronic illness, Jennifer came back to live in Suttons Bay at Leelanau Tendercare, where she was cared for and loved by the staff there.
Jennifer was an inspiration to everyone she met. Although dealt many challenges in life, she chose to see the good in every situation, and she was unfailingly cheerful. She had a keen sense of humor, great compassion for others and a fiercely independent spirit. She will be sorely missed by many.
Besides her parents, Jennifer leaves behind stepmom, Linda Hepler Beaty; stepdad, Darkline Stokes; grandma, Alice Cook; grandpa, Tom Gemuend; brothers, Russell (Danielle), Craig (Caitlin) and William (Niky); stepsister, Tracy (Zachary) Johnson; stepbrother, Justin Smedes-Hepler; many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews - and even more friends.
She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Harmon Beaty; grandmother, Christine Beaty; grandfather, Warren Cook; grandmother, Sally Hepler; aunt, Lindy Smith; and uncle, Wes Beaty.
Arrangements are being handled through Life Story Funeral Home. Because Jennifer hated funerals and memorial services, none are planned. Instead, her life will be toasted at the next Beaty family reunion, and a memorial bench will be placed in her name at Pioneer Cemetery in Roscommon, where many of her beloved relatives were laid to rest. Please feel free to celebrate her life in any way desired, ideally at a party.
Memorial donations in Jennifer's name may be sent to Beverly Farm Foundation; www.beverlyfarm.org; (618) 466-0367.
Published on  July 17, 2017