Kristine Starr Beam

Kristine Starr Beam

An Obituary for Our Beloved, Kris Beam After an eight-year battle with chronic pain, Kristine Starr Beam chose to pass on from her body. On July 6, 2020 she walked peacefully into the waters of the Willamette River, along which she spent so much of her life. Kris was born in Portland, Oregon on July 24,1957 to Sharon and Jim Yoes. She was the middle of three kids, between her older brother Pat and younger brother Dan. Kris loved water. While growing up in southwest Portland she swam laps in the family pool for fun, exercise, and to de-stress. She and her family also skied on the frozen, crystalline waters of Mt Hood. She graduated from Sunset High School in 1975 and after a year at Portland Community College transferred to the University of Oregon. At the age of 19, she and future-husband Rick met while waterskiing on the Willamette River. Their relationship grew during college with happy memories inner tubing on the Willamette and trips to the coast, especially to Heceta Head. After graduating with a degree in education, Kris and Rick lived together in Portland until he completed medical school. They were married in 1984. Then they were off to Wisconsin for three years for residency, where Kris taught first at a school in Milwaukee and later at a rural parochial school. During their time in the Midwest, they were lucky to experience the region’s many rivers and lakes. Missing the Northwest, they returned to Portland and settled in West Linn. Kris’ water broke twice, heralding the arrival of Michelle in 1987 and Ryan in 1991. During her early years as a mother, she took up windsurfing, most often in the Columbia River Gorge, which holds an especially special place in the hearts of Kris and her family. During this time there were also many joyous trips to the family beach house in Rockaway. Through the years there was plenty of camping, rafting, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, and stand-up paddle boarding. And, of course, Kris also loved hot bubble baths, showers, and hot tubs. In addition to water, Kris loved people. She was incredibly social and would strike up a conversation with just about anyone. She leaves behind a network of amazing friends, especially in the West Linn area. Kris was a person who saw the true nature of things. In her paid work as a reading teacher she looked for the curiosity in struggling learners, seeking books that would spark excitement in her students’ hearts. Recently, one of her dearest students made it to college and she was so deeply proud. She was a creator of habitats that nurtured birds, bees, and her friends and family. Over 25 years she turned a basic suburban backyard into a certified, thriving haven for birds and other pollinators. To sit in her creation is to watch decades of love, care, and curiosity in bloom, while dozens of native species bask and zip around you. Kris was driven by a deep, authentic curiosity for her fellow human. She especially took an interest in each and every one of the many young people who came into her life as they flowed through life’s phases. Many people say that they felt authentically seen by Kris and that in her they could see and feel an amazing joie de vivre. Her child-like silliness and playfulness sent her bounding up hills, mooning people on road trips, and standing elated on peaks, even between periods of deep struggle with chronic pain. She threw a mean dinner party, and if you were a close friend closing the book on another decade, she was liable to throw you the birthday party of your life. She was a great facilitator of connection and a central binding force for her blood family and her chosen family. Everyone knows Kris would have demanded this entire month of July be in celebration of her birthday. Not because she was self-centered but because she seized every opportunity to bring people together, again and again and again. Kris found enjoyment in gardening, games, puzzles, small dogs (wieners, bichons, and mini-labradoodles), bike rides, red wine, mahjong, and fart machines. Eight years ago she developed excruciating, debilitating back pain. Despite courageously fighting through three surgeries and pursuing many strategies for healing, she continued to suffer prolonged flares of pain. The depth of her pain was often obscured by her beauty, smile, ferocious perseverance, grit, deep motivation to see her dreams come to fruition, and her desire to be present with her loved ones. She struggled and thrived through so many years thanks in large part to the many wonderful people in her community who showed up for her time and time again. Always brave, and always poetic, Kris chose to end her life by returning to the waters of the Willamette. Kris leaves behind her parents Sharon and Jim Yoes, the love of her life and husband Rick, her daughter who she loved to the moon and back, Michelle, her son and sunshine Ryan, brothers Pat and Dan Yoes, sisters-in-law Judi and Beth, nieces and nephews Carissa, Caitlin, Josh, Avery, and Drew, mother-in-law Ruth, and brother-in-law Roger Beam. A celebration of Kris' life will be held at a later date, yet to be determined. Kris and her family suggest remembrances go to Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
July 24, 1957 - July 8, 202007/24/195707/08/2020
Recommend Kristine's obituary to your friends.

Share Obituary:

Share a memory

Add to your memory
Photos/Video
Candle
Mementos
Share a memory of Kristine Starr Beam.

Tribute wall

P
Peggy Eurman and Terry Morrow
July 23
I hope these trees will nurture the earth, air and planet, just as Kris did. May her goodness live on. We love you all.
3 trees were planted in memory of
Kristine Starr Beam
Plant a tree
K
Katie & Eric iverson
July 20
Kris will always be alive in our hearts. What joy she brought us. We are sending you our love and support now more than ever.
10 trees were planted in memory of
Kristine Starr Beam
Plant a tree
P
Paul and Sue Sumpter
July 18
The memory of Kris, such a remarkable, loving woman, will live on through the many plants she tended and the trees that will grow in her honor.
5 trees were planted in memory of
Kristine Starr Beam
Plant a tree
P
PAUL TRAVERS
July 18
My thoughts and prayers are with the Beam Family.I loved Khris!!!!!Paul Travers
3 trees were planted in memory of
Kristine Starr Beam
Plant a tree
m
maureen a wright/lane brown
July 17
With heartfelt condolences,
3 trees were planted in memory of
Kristine Starr Beam
Plant a tree
D
Deborah Melville
a day ago
A shining light is gone, but I will remember your warmth for the rest of my days. Because of you, I discovered fairy gardens, hiked the Pacific Crest trail and embroidered by a lake. I will miss visiting in your garden, but will see your touch in mine. Jigsaw puzzle a... Continue Reading
T
The Roncevich Family
5 days ago
Grief and love are sisters, woven together from the beginning. Their kinship reminds us that there is no love without loss, and no loss without love.

1 memorial tree were planted in memory of Kristine Starr Beam.

A
Andrew and Rosy Levy
July 26
In memory of Kris, wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.

1 memorial tree were planted in memory of Kristine Starr Beam.

S
Staci
July 25
Rick, Michelle and Ryan, I accepted your invitation to join you for a moment on our knees to really pause, to honor and savor the difficult gift of undeniable grief that Kris has so graciously given us all. I have to admit I would rather drop to my knees and roll to t... Continue Reading
M
Mike, Carolyn, John, and Peter Bonoff
July 22
Our hearts go out to the Beams and we feel your loss. That was a beautifully written tribute to Kris. All our love.

1 memorial tree were planted in memory of Kristine Starr Beam.

S
Staci
July 21
S
Staci Petersen
July 21
Kris - your joyous essence and love will continue to live within our hearts and provide us peace and encouragement through the years. Love always.

1 memorial tree were planted in memory of Kristine Starr Beam.

Sherrey Meyer
July 20
A candle was posted for Kristine Starr Beam.
D
Dede Montgomery
July 20
My dear friend. Was the warm fishy smell of the river seeping out of the banks? You know the smell, the one that all of us from around here mark as summertime. Summertime on the rivers of the Willamette Valley. Cotton fiber and blackberry and a few fish heads that someo... Continue Reading
A
Alean Kirnak
July 20
I already have my tree, or native shrub, in memory of Kristine Starr Beam - here it is. Kris came to my Dad's memorial service at our childhood house in 2015. I had Oregon native plants and trees for everyone to take home - Dad was a forester - but Kris, as was her nat... Continue Reading