|Birth: ||Jun. 13, 1948|
|Death: ||May 31, 2007|
My daughter Destiny was in the All Aboard program and Beverly was one of the therepsts. Destiny loved her alot and after we moved, we knew that Destiny missed her. When we found out about her death, we were saddened and I decided to create this memorial so our daughter will remember her when she gets older and can read this.
*Article from The Statesman Examiner, Colville Washington, Dated June 20, 2007*
When Deannie Franz first met Beverly Stolker-Drake, her first impression was one of befuddlement. Franz and Stolker-Drake were working at a HeadStart program in Colville for developmentally disabled children. Stolker-Drake was a Speech Therapist there. It was Franz's first day as a volunteer, and she was paired up to work with Stolker-Drake, also referred to as "Bev". As Franz approached Bev, she noticed that the energetic speech therapist was working with a little boy with coke bottle glasses who was staring intently at a picture book. Franz recalled Bev pointing to a picture of a pot and asking, "What's this? Can you tell me what this is?"
Franz said the child replied, "Dog." Instead of correcting him, Bev gave a cheery, admiring grin and said, "That's right, way to go! You are so good."
"At this point I was like what is she doing?" Franz remembered. "The next picture they looked at was a car, and when Bev asked him what that was, he told her cat. She did the same thing, smiling and congratulating him. I was a little confused."
Later on, Franz asked Bev why she had done that when she knew the boy was answering incorrectly.
"Someday that little boy will grow up and he will know that he got the answers wrong, but it's not about being right or wrong at this point," Bev told her. "What matters now is that he's encouraged in trying to find the answer, and develop those skills. The only thing he needs to hear is that he's doing a good job."
It was that attitude of love, support and compassion that made children flock to Bev, and adults respect her. And those are also the qualities that her friends, family and peers will miss.
The best of people
After a lengthy battle with Stage Four breast cancer that began in 1999, Bev passed away at her home on May 31. The wife, mother and co-founder of the All Aboard Academy in Colville was honored last Wednesday by her loved ones, who gathered at her home outside of Addy to remember the woman who would occasionally thump her chest with a happy-go-lucky bravado and who sometimes greeted people by asking them what was the best thing happening in their life at the moment.
"I'm glad I got to know her and have her influence my life," said All Aboard President Libby McInelly.
McInelly first met Bev after she gave birth to her son Junior in April of 2002. Junior was born with Downs Syndrome and McInelly didn't know what to do.
"I had him at Deaconess in Spokane and they didn't give me any suggestions on what I should do, or where I should go," McInelly said. "I had this child with special needs and I remember being afraid. I called Tri-County Health District in Colville and they put me in touch with Bev. Junior was eight weeks old at the time. When we first met Bev, I loved the way she immediately loved him, without question. It made me like her instantly."
McInelly and Bev came together and started All Aboard Academy, a multi-disciplinary developmental pre-school from birth to three years old for children with a variety of developmental delays. The program started at the Grace Evangelical Church before a generous individual donated a house to the program on Oak Street. The non-profit organization varies in the number of children there at one time, but McInelly estimated that the average is 15. Typically, developing children are also welcome through All Aboard's doors.
"Bev wanted typical kids there as well, because children learn from each other," explained McInelly. "They watch each other and mimic one another."
According to McInelly, Bev was always willing to learn different techniques to help better teach children, feeding her knowledge and curiosity through conferences, seminars, books and whatever other material she could get her hands on. She often told people that it was her work at All Aboard that kept her going through the duration of her fight with cancer.
"All these kids are going to be without her, and that's a big sadness for a lot of us," McInelly stated. "She'd go wherever there was a child that needed her. She would make house calls and just bring bags of toys with her. We'll miss her terČribly. She was the best of people."
Created by: Misty and Robert H.
Record added: Aug 26, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21181325