Donna Faye Medicus was born November 27th, 1937 in Los Angeles CA, to Harland and Elma Faye Thompson. 3 years later came her mischievous, loving little brother, John Wayne Thompson. While their father was off serving his country in WWII and again during the Korean Conflict, their mother was working on building airplanes. So, the two siblings took care of each other, while having lots of adventures.
In High School, Donna was very popular and enjoyed numerous activities. Everything from dance team to student government, being elected class president and she was on the Prom Court.
Soon after High School, she met and married Jim Beals and had 5 beautiful children: Judith Louise, Joyce Lynn, Janet Lee, Jamie Lou, James Herbert “Jimmy”. This group of 5 would grow to 12 grandchildren, and 17 Great grandkids.
Her first job out of High School was with the Federal Reserve. She was responsible to walk from bank to bank on the streets of Downtown LA collecting damaged currency. She then went to work for Bank of America, where she worked for many years.
Our Mom surprisingly didn’t learn to drive until around the time Jimmy was born. She was taught by her wonderful friend, Dianne, around the age of 27.
The family then moved to Newbury Park where she met her forever friends Annette and Bill. Donna fondly called Annette “Sparkle Farkle”, after a character on the then popular TV show Laugh In. In Newbury Park, Mom was very involved in the community. She was a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, and active in the PTA, even becoming their President.
In 1975, the family moved to Leona Valley where she tirelessly raised and sold squab, which included delivering the birds to China Town each week. In addition to raising squab, she also helped take care of a Noah’s Ask of farm animals.
Then in 1978, she moved to Quartz Hill, where she returned to her career at Bank of America as an Escrow Officer. The hard worker she was, at one point she became President of the Antelope Valley Escrow Association.
Living life to the fullest, she was in a bowling league, line danced and joined a mule racing club. She met Charles Medicus, Chuck at the Bishop Mule days. Her husband of 28 years, until his death 8 years ago. Together, they traveled the world, often in their own airplane. She even attended ground school where she learned about airplanes and how to make an emergency landing.
They also had a cabin cruiser boat at Lake Powell, where they loved to spend weeks on the water with friends and family. This is amazing since our mother never learned to swim.
After the sale of their boat they purchased a condo in Mexico, where they loved to spend lots and lots of time.
From the start of their dating our Mom and Chuck were very active and adventurous. For more than 30 years they were a very big part of Palmdale’s Sister Cities Organization. They hosted families in a cultural exchange program for most of those years. They grew close with these families, despite never mastering the Spanish language. Mom was often the main organizer for visits to the United States. She was their historian and filled numerous photo albums documenting their trips. She continued to be involved up until a little over a year ago when she was crowned “Queen for the Day” by the city of Palmdale for all her hard work.
Our Mother loved working in the yard, she had a green thumb. Sewing was another one of her talents, she even made 2 wedding dresses. She enjoyed crafts including creative tole painting and stained glass all of which she mastered. This was a talent she inherited from her Mother, who was an artist.
During the last few years, Janet’s god, Bear, was her constant companion.
Mom loved spending time with her family, there were numerous years we spent 4th of July’s and family holidays up at the house on the hill. She also loved spending time at the park on Tuesday’s with her great grandchildren after they got out of school. She would bring juice boxes and goldfish crackers for them to snack on. She would often bring toys for them to play with. All the great grandkids knew where the balls, bats and crayons were kept at her home. She loved being GREAT Grandma Donna to them. At the age of 3 Noah remarked that Joyce was his regular Grandma but Mom was his “Great Grandma”, she loved that.
She recently told someone that she had attended the “University of Smart Ass” and received a degree in “Sarcasm”. She was very quick witted, this may be where our brother Jimmy, got his sense of humor from.
Mom grew up in a Baptist Church, where her father played the piano, organ, and sang in the choir. We found a bible of her’s from when she was about 8 years old. This may be when she accepted Jesus as her Savior. We heard stories about her time in youth group during High School. When Chuck and Mom stayed in their condo in Mexico they met with other believers at a local bar before it opened on Sunday mornings. She also joined a Women’s Bible Study on Wednesday mornings at Central Christian Church.
Our sweet, funny, hardworking, kind Mother always made an impact on the people she encountered. It was not uncommon to meet someone who would tell us that “Our Mother” is the “kindest person”. This was a trait she inherited from her father, who was also known for being very kind.
The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:22 and 23 that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, KINDNESS, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law”. These are the fruit that our Mother showed us in her life. We know that we will see her once again with a clear mind and a healthy body in heaven.
This part of the legacy that she leaves behind, we should all strive to be known for our kindness.
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