The daughter of Joe and Terry Hernandez, Beckie grew up in northern California with her brother Joseph. She was never short on independence as she was off on her own before her 18th birthday, working and going to school. She enjoyed life and her friends to the fullest as she moved to her mother’s hometown of Santa Barbara, where she graduated from UCSB with a degree in environmental biology.
After graduation Beckie moved to San Diego to work at the Scripps Research Institute as a researcher in the molecular and cellular biology department. With her skills in making monoclonal antibodies she was recruited to a young biotech company, Quidel where she and Scott met. As with any new business, they worked endless hours but always found the time to play together as Beckie enjoyed running, skiing and playing coed softball.
Scott and Beckie were married in 1986 at home in La Jolla with a hundred of their best friends and family. For Beckie, it was not just a union of two people; she graciously helped parent Scott’s older boys Jaime and Russell. With the birth of Ashley in 1987 and Connor in 1990 it was a dynamic group as Beckie integrated everyone into a loving and caring family. Beckie worked tirelessly with the kids at Evans School when she chaperoned Russell’s 6th grade trip to Washington DC and then became Connor and Ashley’s room mother. She started her own Brownie and Girl Scout troops from scratch and managed Ashley’s softball team into a number of regional final games. In between Ashley and Connor’s birth, Beckie took the time to start a new business, Conception Technologies, making innovative medical devices for use by reproductive and infertility physicians. After a year she decided work was taking more time away from her family than she wanted; they were graced as an old friend, Mike Trinkle, came into the business and made it the success it is today. Beckie was thrilled that Russell has taken such pride in his work at Conception and is working hard to continue the family business.
While everyone in the family called Beckie “Super Mom” and sometimes the “Enforcer” she always had time for family and her friends. She took us to hike the backside of Half Dome in Yosemite when she was seven months pregnant, then taught us how to catch lizards with a grass noose using tall grasses found in the meadow. Her spirituality and thrill for life really grew when we moved to Telluride, Colorado in 2000. In the mountains Beckie became an avid hiker travelling 8-10 miles two or three times a week to attitudes of 13,000 feet with her best friends. Her love for life will forever be reflected in her photography which she was exposed to by her father and later refined in her homemade darkroom.
After her diagnosis with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) Beckie brought a new sense of conscientiousness with our return to La Jolla. She continued to participate in two prayer groups in San Diego and Telluride and enjoyed her Bible Studies at La Jolla Community Church. All the while, she stayed close with her dearest friends in the YPO group and the TWN in Telluride. As Jaime said the other day, the husbands go off to work and think they are accomplishing so much, while the wives stay home and take care of the home. Now after writing this, I have never felt so humbled by all Beckie has accomplished while I was away at work.
Beckie’s love for family was insatiable, not only to her immediate family but all her aunts, uncles, and cousins in Santa Barbara as she and her mother would hold an annual tamale party for family and friends. Beckie was a “Daddy’s girl.” We watched as she spent time with her father before he was overtaken by Alzheimer’s disease, he had that wonderful glimmer in his eye every time he saw Beckie and the grandkids. It was during these past few years where we saw Beckie have that same glimmer in her eyes when Jaime had Beckie stand up and take credit with all the Moms at his graduation from medical school; or Ashley coming home from school in Santa Barbara to take her, as best friends do, to get their nails done or buy some makeup; or when Connor would come home from SDSU to tell us about his new observation on life and she would admire his intellect and good looks. Driven by the warmth of her friendships and her love for her family, Beckie lived seven wonderful years longer than her doctors predicted after she was exposed to Lyme’s disease and diagnosed with ALS. Most importantly, it was her spirituality, her hugs from her family, and the new voices in the hallway of her grandkids: Gavin who would call “Grandma Beckie” and make her heart melt and Stella who would give her those heartfelt smiles. As Connor said the other day, we are only sad that the future grandkids will not experience the love and passion that Beckie gave each and everyone of us everyday. In the end it was Beckie who, as Shannon and Elise will attest, set such high standards for all of us to obtain and was such an exemplary role model. While there are so many things we have not reflected on in this short attestation of our love and respect for Beckie, we know she will continue to bless us in our hearts and spirit and we look forward to joining her again one day in heaven.
A service celebrating Beckie’s life is being planned for Sunday, Jan. 3, in Telluride, at Christ Church, at 11:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon at the Glenn house.