Beverly St. Arnauld DesJardins
NIAGARA, Wis. — Beverly St. Arnauld DesJardins, 94, passed on to her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2020, at her son Bruce’s home surrounded by her family.
Beverly was born Dec, 12, 1926, in Amberg, Wis., to Harry and Lena (Gloczin) Coons. As a young child, her family moved to Niagara when her Dad got a job at Kimberly Clark. As an elementary student, she attended the Thomson one-room schoolhouse, and then she attended the Shattuck Elementary School in Niagara. She graduated from Niagara High School in 1944. She was the last survivor of the Class of 1944.
After graduation, she worked as a secretary at Kimberly Clark from 1945-1954. One winter night at a dance at the Chippewa Club, she met a handsome young man, Bert St Arnauld, whose friends Chin Fornetti and Don Ring urged him to ask her to dance. That dance led to a courtship for the next three years. In 1947, Bev married Bert in the Niagara Protestant Church.
In 1965 she was hired by Ed Doucette to be the secretary to the superintendent of the Niagara School District. Her career with the school district spanned 24 years with her retirement in 1989 under superintendent Sam Welcher. Bev and Bert had three sons: Dan (Lefty), Bruce and Robert. Bev was very proud of her sons. She attended many games played by all three boys whether it was baseball, football, basketball and softball. When Dan became the head football coach at Niagara, she made it a point to attend his games rain or shine, first with Bert then with her son Bruce.
She made frequent stops at her son, Bruce St Arnauld’s restaurant and then later, his bar and grill The Big 10 Sports Bar. Robert and his wife Cathy lived in Arizona, and 10 years ago they moved to Nashville. Bev loved to travel to Nashville and visit them as often as she could. She also loved going to the Grand Ole Opry and Tootsies on Broadway Street.
Beverly loved sports. When she met Bert she knew nothing about sports, so Bert taught her about baseball and football. Though Bert was a Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions fan, Bev became an avid Packer fan and a Chicago Cubs fan. She and Bert picked up golfing when they were both in their 50s. She golfed until she was in her early 80s and only quit the game when her macular wouldn’t allow her to see the ball anymore. She was a huge Phil Mickleson fan and always hoped that he would do well in tournaments.
One of her bucket list items was seeing a game at Wrigley Field. Seven years ago her granddaughter, Kristi, arranged to get tickets, and they attended a game. After the game they went to Ditka’s Restaurant where she met Coach Mike Ditka and got a picture with him. She was also a huge fan of the Wisconsin Badgers, especially the football and basketball teams. Her number one team, however, was the Niagara Badgers. Bev was extremely proud to hold the 2006 title of being Niagara’s #1 fan. She attended games in the 1960s, watched her sons play football, basketball and baseball, and tirelessly followed her son Dan and his wife Carol as they coached the Niagara varsity football and volleyball teams. In 1983, while watching a varsity game her son Dan was coaching, Bev lost her beloved husband Bert when he passed away on the Wausaukee football field while taking stats on the sidelines.
Bev’s resilience to losing the love of her life was inspiring. In her words, “I am not going to be one of those widows who turns down invitations to go places. If I do, people will stop asking me to go places. So, I will not be afraid of being a third wheel.” It was at one of these invitations she met Roland “Bummy” DesJardins. Bummy had lost his spouse as well, and they both hit it off. They were married in 1988. They really made a great couple, and they did so many things together. Of course she dragged Bummy along to many of the Badger games.
When Bummy passed away in 1999, she continued to be active in many activities. She was a member of Oak Crest and golfed in the ladies league. She also bowled in the ladies bowling league, sang with the Smile Awhiles, and was a member of the Women’s Club. Up until COVID-19 hit our country, she would meet once a month with her AWOL group. This was a group of women whom she worked with at Kimberly Clark. Once a month she would attend the retired teachers luncheon and maybe her favorite time was the luncheon with the women of the Red Hat Society. She was elected First Lady of Niagara in 2003.
She was a proud member of Riverside United Methodist Church where she was a longtime member of the choir. She participated in many volunteer functions for the church as well.
Bev was extremely talented. She loved making fantastic ceramic creations, especially Christmas themed pieces. She painted many oil paintings, played the Hawiian guitar, an acoustic guitar, and she could yodel with the best of them. She also performed in two Niagara Community musicals: “Finian’s Rainbow” and “The Music Man.”
Bev was blessed with two wonderful husbands, three loving sons and a warm and loving family. She is survived by Dan “Lefty” (Carol) St. Arnauld of Spread Eagle, Wis., Bruce (Betsy) St. Arnauld of Niagara, and Robert (Cathy) St. Arnauld of Nashville; eight grandchildren, Dawn Allen, Bobbie Jean (Jon) Hurth, Kristi St Arnauld, Tim (Nikki) Carter, Kevin (Brooke) St. Arnauld, Bret (Kayla) St. Arnauld, Ian Shampo and Corrina Shampo; and 13 great-grandchildren, Everett, Braden. Hope, Colton, Preston, Aubree, Adalyn, Gabe, Josie, Bexley, Baylor and Jaxson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Lena Coons; her husband, Bert and husband, Roland; her sister, Beatrice Van Handel; granddaughter, Jennifer; and great-grandson, Charles.
The family would like to thank Unity Hospice from De Pere, Wis. for their wonderful service and treatment of our mother. Andrea Hurkmans Giliberto made Mom’s final three weeks so peaceful and comforting. Mom had three couples who were her guardian angels here on earth. Rich and Carol Kinsella, her next door neighbors, were always there for her when she needed help, especially after Bummy passed away. Lynn and Billy Burke would do anything for Mom, whether it be taking her to a doctor appointment or just to take her, and usually Jean Hendricks, to the grocery store to get pizza or just bring food down to her house for supper. Debbie and Dave Pajula helped her with her finances, as Mom couldn’t see, so she would organize her checkbook and write checks out to pay her bills. When she couldn’t get a hold of Dan or Bruce, Dave would help her get her television back on when she would hit a wrong button, and apparently Dave was the only one who could change the battery on her talking watch.
She lived a beautiful life and her carefree spirit was apparent to anyone who knew her. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends. A celebration of life will be held in the summer of 2021.
Condolences to the family of Beverly St. Arnauld DesJardins may be expressed online at www.ernashfuneralhomes.com.
The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home with the arrangements.