Nan Aileen Beech


image of Nan Beech

Nan Beech

Nan Aileen Beech passed away early in the morning on Tuesday November 9, 2021 at Evergreen Hospital, Kirkland, Washington. After a long fight with Alzheimer’s Disease, cause of death was asphyxia pneumonia, precipitated by advanced dementia.  Fortunately, the end came quickly.

Nan is survived by:

                  • Her husband, Paul Buzzo; and daughter, Ella Buzzo – both of Seattle;
                  • Her mother, Mary Beech (Rogers) of Hamilton, Ontario;
                  •  Her siblings, Beth Beech (Hamilton); Roger Beech (Kingston); Joan Beech (Toronto) and Scott Beech (Waterloo)   (all Ontario, Canada);
                  • Her brother-in-law, Stuart Buzzo (Ashland, Oregon)
                  • and their spouses and ex’s.

As well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Nan was born Thursday July 3, 1958 in Montreal, Quebec (her dad was finishing his degree at McGill University). Nan was the middle child of Mary and Murray Beech – 3 girls and 2 boys.

The family lived in Kingston, Ontario (where mom grew up) until Nan was in grade 3 – when they moved to Grimsby, then Hamilton, Ontario (where dad grew up).

After high school, Nan pursued a degree in Independent Studies at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario – graduating in 1981 – focusing on the impacts and benefits of journal writing and workshop design and presentation.

After a brief time in Ottawa (and ice skating on the frozen river), Nan moved to San Francisco to work for ‘The Hunger Project’. While at the Hunger Project, Nan and Paul met, and after a very brief courtship were married on 8-March-1986. On their 3rd wedding anniversary, they ‘lit out for the territories’ by moving to Seattle and renting a house with Nan’s brother, Scott.

A natural organizer and administrator, Nan worked at times for larger organizations. She was most happy as an entrepreneur – operating a one-woman consulting business for other sole proprietors and small businesses.  Her continued direct engagement in the work at hand – whatever that work was – as well as her loyalty and dependability valued by all who knew her.

Nan was a permanent resident of the United States, while remaining a Canadian citizen with a Canadian Passport. (even, or especially, after marrying the ‘yank’).

For many years, Nan and Paul attended Salmon Bay Friend’s Meeting (a small Quaker meeting in Seattle). Nan served on several committees – both formal and informal committees for marriage, clearness and care. And Nan was deeply involved in the community – potlucks and other community building activities. Nan brought the same focus and determination to Friend’s work as she did her own work.

Becoming a mom was one of Nan’s long-held dreams. In August, 2001, that dream came true with the birth of Ella (now 20). Being Ella’s Mom was one of Nan’s signature achievements and joys. Nan’s time as an active mom was cut short by Alzheimer’s Disease.

Nan was a great lover of beauty, art, games, music, sewing, and driving fast.  Nan possessed a wicked sense of humor – which she mostly used subtly.  She was physically active – walking, cross-country and downhill skiing, riding her bike and running for pleasure. Circus camp with Ella was a more exotic pleasure. Camping, particularly at Lake Chelan, was a particular favorite past time. Remodeling two homes reflected the work she loved – making the world around her more functional and beautiful. Later, painting and art in general. These things nurtured her spirit. And she loved to make things happen.


Nan Beech

Dependable, loyal and kind

Present, engaged and direct

Wicked sense of humor

A glint in her eye that said it all

A good friend

Burned bright | a courageous fighter | gone too soon

Rest in Peace


We’re planning to have a celebration of Nan’s life in Seattle in January, and one in Ontario next summer. Details TBD.

If you are so inclined, please make a contribution to your local Alzheimer’s Association or similar organization.

No flowers please

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