Sunday, April 26, 2015

Jen Behnke remembers her mom, Dr. Doris G Beardsley

James Kyle's First Birthday Party
Doris Beardsley was born in NYC and raised in Bergen County, NJ. She met my dad, Jed Beardsley, when he was on summer break from University of Virginia after his freshman year and the day before her Senior Prom. Their third date was to her high school graduation. They dated long distance all through college and she graduated with honors in only three years from William Patterson University. After college, they got married and moved to Atlanta.  My dad started Emory University's Law School and Masters in Business Administration programs.

Doris began teaching elementary education in DeKalb County in 1977. Then after a few years she went back to school to get a Masters in Education. Then she taught gifted elementary students. She was an awesome mom and still made every soccer game, jazz dance, tennis match, cross country race and still had time to help with homework and school projects. When my brother and I were teenagers she went back to school and after seven years she finished her PhD in Administration and Supervision. She also got multiple Teacher of the Year awards at different schools and one AJC GA Teacher of the year award.

Christmas 2014

Doris had a love for dogs and being on the water. Our home in Peachtree Corners was on the Chattahoochee River and later we bought a private 3 acre lake front cabin. Then more recently they sold that and bought a lake house on Lake Oconee. This is where she loved to play fetch with our dogs. She raised a litter of Vizsla puppies and kept a girl she named Amberley. Once she got Amber certified to be a service dog she took her everywhere with her. The main reason is Amber helped her know when she might fall and would come beside her to let her know.

Lake Oconee 2015

She took her on planes as she traveled to see Michael, his wife Viki, and their two children, two of her grandchildren, Michelle and Steven. She loved to do crafts with them, play and read stories. She also loved her other grandson, her “sweet boy,” James Kyle Behnke.  She loved them all very much. She spent time with her grandchildren any chance she got.

She was a member of Atlanta’s Ivy Garden Club and was appointed as a member to the Life Member committee. She also did Pet Ministry with Amberley once a week at two different senior living homes. The seniors loved Doris. The liked Amber and enjoyed the games they played with her.  It was just one of the ways she volunteered and gave back to the community.

Governor Nathan Deal's Inaugural Ball

Doris loved to travel with Jed and they went all over the world. From huge trips to Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Prague, St. Petersburg, Scandinavia, Germany, Paris, Stonehenge, the Mayan ruins and the occasional trip to Mexico. Of course, she loved photography and capturing all the amazing memories all along her road of life.

Doris will be missed by her husband, Jed, her son Michael, his wife Viki,  her daughter Jen, her husband Kyle, her grandchildren Michelle, Steven, and James Kyle, the Greene family in NJ, her friends, her neighbors, other teachers, students, and her sweet dog Amberley, brother and momma dogs General and Ruby Leigh. The world truly lost a loving, kind, humble soul with a big heart and laugh.  We love you Doris and your memory is living in our hearts forever!! We hope we continue to make you proud.


  1. I know Doris' memory will live on and on. She was such a beautiful light to this world!

  2. Doris was a beautiful person on both the inside and outside. It was her sincerity and caring nature that drew others to her. She loved and was so proud of her wonderful husband, children and adorable grandchildren. She is now smiling on them from heaven. I will truly miss her and think of her often.

  3. ...a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. You are remembered and missed, Doris Beardsley.


Positive encouraging comments are welcome here: