Patricia Anne (Miller) Beecham, 90, of Danville, passed away peacefully Friday, April 21, 2017, at Maria Joseph Manor, Danville.
She was born March 20, 1927, in London, England, the daughter of Henry Spearing Miller and Anne Cherrington Payne Miller.
She was educated at boarding school, run by the nuns of the Convent of the Faithful Virgin. Her father died when she was very young, and the family went through very difficult times which ended up being the source of her warmth, understanding and drive.
Anne was married to her first husband, Winslow T. Tompkins III, while he was serving as a US Navy Surgeon, based briefly overseas. He died tragically of cancer after only a few years of marriage. She later was married to Clayton Tremain Beecham, or "Beech" after they were set up on a blind date. Within an hour he proposed, and five weeks later they were married, on Christmas Day 1979, at his farmhouse outside Sunbury. They were completely devoted to each other throughout their marriage.
After the death of her first husband, Anne settled in Washington DC to work selling fine English china from the premier English maker, Wedgwood, at a shop in one of the largest hotels in the capital. After her marriage to Dr. Beecham, and his semi-retirement at Geisinger Medical Center, Anne started volunteering at the House of Care being one of the two original volunteers. Her greatest aim was creating a caring, loving and non-clinical environment for people going through the most harrowing treatments for cancer. She always kept a roaring fire there along with fresh flowers. Anne took the time to get to know the residents personally, which was her greatest joy and reward.
In the later years of her life, she transitioned with ease and will always be loved and admired by so many who knew her. Above all, she filled the lives of her family and friends with joy, laughter and strength.
Her nephew Laurence from England, wrote the following to honor her:
"My aunt was a proud Englishwoman, with the heart of a lion. Always a huge supporter of the Queen, she had two American husbands, and loved America and its people, amongst whom she made her home. She was always full of praise for the opportunities America gave to her. I think I have seen, in the last few days, the very best of America on display in kindness and compassion who knew her at the end and would like to extend a huge thank you to the nurses and everyone involved with Anne's care, especially Heidi Venarchick and to her friend Karen Geise, Paige Visneski and Brian Crane, who so readily offered their condolences to us in England. We are so grateful also for the life of our dear Aunt, great aunty and friend Anne, a life lived to the full and well lived to the end. She will be greatly missed."
She is survived by many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews, spread throughout the world and baring many different surnames.
Burial will be private. Flowers will be provided.
Memorial contributions in her honor may be made to Donald P. Vrabec House of Care, 100 N. Academy Ave., Danville PA 17822.
Published on April 28, 2017