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Lynn Beebe M.A. ’02, Jan. 22, 2012. Resident of Capitola and a longtime county educator, basketball coach, and mentor to aspiring college students, she died peacefully after a prolonged struggle with cancer. She was 47. Serving young people was a recurring theme in Lynn’s life. Most recently she worked as a guidance counselor at Scotts Valley Middle School. In her nearly 30-year career in education, Lynn served as a parks and rec leader and program supervisor; substitute teacher; instructor of gifted and talented children; single-subject classroom educator; basketball coach and athletic director; and junior high guidance counselor. In recent years Beebe also served as a private consultant and mentor to high-school students seeking admission to the university of their choice. She had a near-perfect record of getting students admitted to their preferred college.
Lynn was born in San Jose on Aug. 10, 1964, the youngest of four children and the only daughter of John W. and Janice M. Beebe of Aptos. When Lynn’s parents brought the new baby sister "Dana" home to meet her siblings, her three older brothers did not approve of her name and flatly refused to call her that, instead grafting an "ie" to her middle name, Lynn. The name Dana was rarely uttered again, and in Lynn’s adulthood it eventually shriveled to just the letter D. Family members were admonished not to call her "Lynnie" in front of her students, who only knew her as Ms. or Miss Beebe. Growing up with three sports-obsessed brothers, Lynn had no choice but to love athletics. And with a father and three brothers all standing over 6-feet-2 inches tall, Lynn, at 6-foot 3, also had no choice but to be tall. But it was not always easy being the tallest kid in the school, and there were times when she was teased unmercifully, an experience that shaped her reasons for getting into teaching and softened the way she related to young people. As a child Lynn loved animals and was active in Girl Scouts and 4H, raising lambs. She attended Soquel Elementary, Branciforte Junior High, and Soquel High schools, graduating in 1982. At Soquel High Lynn blossomed into a standout basketball player, leading the Knights to numerous championships, and making the all-league team in 1982. She was a dominant scorer and rebounder, with a variety of low-post moves honed on the family basketball court with her brothers. In 2010, Soquel High retired Lynn’s number 32 jersey and it hangs permanently in the school’s gymnasium. Until 2010, Lynn was the tallest girl ever to play hoops at Soquel High. After graduating from Soquel High School, Lynn continued her academic and athletic pursuits at Cal State University Fresno. Persistent leg injuries derailed her basketball career at Fresno State, but not her academics, as she received a BA degree in family studies in 1988, and a multiple-subject teaching credential in 1991. Lynn completed her student teaching obligations with the Fresno and Pajaro Valley unified school districts before starting her career in the Scotts Valley school district as a substitute teacher. She joined the full-time staff at Scotts Valley Middle School in 1992. Standing at 6 foot 3, Beebe could be an imposing figure in front of the blackboard. Her middle school students considered her a tough and demanding teacher, with one describing her as seemingly "8 feet tall." Parents liked her sense of humor and the results she was getting. Each year more and more parents requested that Lynn teach their children. As a 6th grade core-subject teacher, Lynn lent stability and security to kids taking their first steps as teen. Her sense of humor was never far away. Coaching basketball was one of Lynn’s loves and she was a longtime junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach of the girls’ basketball teams at Harbor High School. With head coach Nick Adams, she built a formidable program that won many league championships and a section title in 1986. A number of her Harbor players went on to play college basketball, many on full-ride scholarships. Lynn began work on a master’s degree in 2000, first enrolling at Cabrillo College before eventually transferring to Santa Clara University. With four years of college sports eligibility remaining, Lynn rekindled her dream of playing collegiate hoops while at Cabrillo. Her one-year return to college basketball for the Seahawks was an unqualified success as she led all state community college players in scoring, made the All-oast Conference team and was voted the Seahawks’ most valuable player. Lynn was an accomplished traveler, venturing to Europe and China, among other places. In China they had never seen such a tall woman and her height stopped traffic. She loved Hawaii and visited the islands frequently over the years. She also enjoyed the high desert of central Oregon and Lake Tahoe. Lynn chaperoned many annual school trips across the country, bravely taking groups of 8th-graders to Washington D.C. and New York City. She enjoyed music, theater and Broadway musicals and was a hardcore San Francisco Giants fan, organizing an extended-family trip to Giants spring training in 2010. Lynn credited the Giants broadcast team with helping her make it through chemo in 2009 and 2010. She watched San Francisco 49er games with her father every Sunday during football season. Lynn was especially close to her niece Alyson and her two nephews Ben and Chris, and she made it her mission to ensure each was prepared to go to college and succeed there. Her mission was two-thirds complete when she died; her two nephews are recent graduates of Cal State University San Jose and her niece is set to graduate in May from Arizona State University. Lynn was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2009. She tackled cancer with the same determination and dignity that marked her academic and athletic pursuits, repeatedly enduring grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments as doctors at Stanford University worked to slow the highly aggressive cancer that ultimately claimed her life. She died peacefully at her family home with her loved ones by her side. Lynn is survived by her parents, John W. "Jack" Beebe and Janice M. Beebe of Aptos; brother Greg Beebe and sister-in-law Monique Vairo of Rio del Mar; brother David Beebe ’81 and sister-in-law Jennifer Beggs Beebe; brother Michael Beebe of Soquel; nephew Benjamin Beebe and his wife Tarin Gambello of Scotts Valley; nephew Christopher Beebe of Santa Cruz; her niece Alyson Beebe of Phoenix, AZ.; and her cousin, Michaela Wieser of Munich, Germany. Lynn is also survived by her dear friend Kristy Keyser of Scotts Valley, who never left Lynn’s side during her illness. Lynn is also survived by her eccentric cat Rocco, who now lives with her nephew. Lynn was preceded in death by her grandparents Dolly and William Rodgers of Los Gatos and Margaret and Howard McCaughna of Monrovia; and her aunt and uncle, Margit and Daniel McCaughna of Munich, Germany.
Read more about Lynn Beebe here.