Pauline Ann Beauchamp

Pauline Ann Beauchamp

May 11, 1930 - December 31, 2023

Pauline Ann Beauchamp

May 11, 1930 - December 31, 2023


Pauline Ann Beauchamp (Deggendorfer)
May 11, 1930 to December 31, 2023


Pauline Ann Deggendorfer was born in Kellogg, Idaho in May 1930, during the early days of the Great Depression. Kellogg was a rugged mining town in the mountains, and her family lived in a middle-class neighborhood in town. Her parents, Ted and Jenny, were devout Catholics and raised their children in the church. Her mother, Jenny, often commented how she admired Pauline’s devotion to the Catholic faith. Pauline’s fondest memories of her childhood were taking country drives and having picnics. She excelled in school, engaged in theatre and choir. She was a talented Soprano,  an accomplished seamstress and graduated as high school class Salutatorian next to her future husband Gene, the Valedictorian. She studied home economics and early education at University of Idaho and Oregon State University, and became an elementary teacher during the early 1950s.

Her romance with Gene started after Gene converted to Catholicism before the Korean War. His priest suggested he become pen pals with Pauline, a devout Catholic while he deployed overseas. These letters evolved into a long-distance courtship. Upon Gene’s return they were engaged and then married on a snowy day in Kellogg, Idaho on January 16, 1955. Soon after they moved to El Centro, California along the Mexican border where Gene worked as a reporter for the local newspaper.  This was no small sacrifice for Pauline who loved trees and lakes. Soon after Jan was born on December 1st  1955, Gene was hired as an editor for the Tribune and they moved to West Covina in LA County. Pauline wrangled the kids to St. Martha’s Catholic school, play dates, dance and music lessons, and excursions that were both fun and educational. Church friends from St Martha’s Parish and the neighborhood became their core community and provided playmates for the kids. This group of friends had a reputation of playing high spirited ping pong games at Pauline and Gene’s home which one time had to be shut down by police officer due to the noise. Despite the challenges of 3 kids (Jan, Dave and Theresa) they wanted a larger family, so Pete was adopted as a 2-month-old baby and joined the family in 1966. Pete had a severe case of colic and could not tolerate over the counter formulas.  With her deep understanding of nutrition and her scientific mind, Pauline developed a homemade formula that was a lifesaver for Peter.  Kristy graced the family in 1970 to complete the rowdy pack of siblings, spanning nearly 15 years across ages.

Gene took an editorial job with the LA Times and moved the family to Laguna Hills where the family home remains.  Gene worked the swing shift (from 2 to 11 pm).  For Pauline, the new challenges of Gene’s work shift, raising teenagers, a preteen, a preschooler and a newborn emerged in an entirely new community. She insisted that the family eat meals together and ensured that holiday celebrations were special and magical. She made sure her children’s Catholic education continued with CCD when they began public school. She restricted TV watching and filled those times with board games, card games, encouraged reading, practicing music and other developmental activities that have served her children well throughout life. She passed along a cherished legacy of swimming, a love of musical theatre and many memorable camping trips for her children and grandchildren. Pauline custom made her daughters’ high school dance gowns, wedding dresses, matching pajamas and Barbi clothes. She and Gene embraced diverse cultures and were a home away from home for college student from Africa and Japan, then college mates of Theresa’s from countries all over the world who called her “Mom.”

As the kids began to head off to college, she became a part-time vision therapist. She re-engaged her love of music by joining the St. Nicholas Church choir and contributed her beautiful Soprano voice and her service as choir librarian. She also served as a volunteer for the Sisters of Mercy ministry to give communion to the homebound.

She could always be counted on to be that quiet support system working effectively in the background supporting her children’s families with newborns or during protracted and severe health crises. When Gene got ALS, she bravely took on the increasing challenges of Dad’s debilitation over a brutal 3 years, and then managing her own frustrating neurological symptoms that emerged soon after Gene passed. It was a great comfort to her family that Pauline’s daughter, Kristy, and her devout Catholic caretakers Ludy and Lee returned mom’s generous and compassionate caretaking in her final years. Because of Kristy, Lee and Ludy’s great care, Pauline was able to remain in her own home until her peaceful passing surrounded by her beloved family, Lee and Ludy.

Pauline was preceded in death by her husband Gene, her parents, sister Margaret and brother Ted. She is survived by her brother Ralph, five children, six grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. She lived and led by example of spirituality and virtue, care and support for others, a welcoming spirit for all and a love for diverse cultures.


Funeral Mass

  • Date & Time: June 8, 2024 (10:30 AM)
  • Venue: St. Nicholas Catholic Church
  • Location: 24252 El Toro Rd. Laguna Woods, CA 92637 - (Get Directions)

Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: June 8, 2024 (12:15 PM)
  • Venue: Ascension Cemetery
  • Location: 24754 Trabuco Road Lake Forest, CA 92630 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 837-1331

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