Former El Campo resident Robbie Lucille (Beals) Beene was born May 15, 1929 to Miles Monroe Beals and Ivey Gertrude (McNiel) Beals in East Bernard.
She lived with her parents and younger brother Robert in Chesterville until she was 11 years old. They then moved to East Bernard after her father died and that is where she graduated high school in 1946.
After graduation, Robbie became a nurse and received her LVN license by waiver during the tuberculosis outbreak, becoming one of the first LVNs in the state of Texas.
Robbie married Henry Lorane Austin May 25, 1947 in Eagle Lake. They lived in Eagle Lake and raised three beautiful children together, H.L., Karla and Tim.
Many tall tales are told about that time. Rock soup was created by the riverbed, sawdust was on the kitchen floor for dancing, and Robbie loved every moment with her children.
While she was working at the Eagle Lake hospital, her husband passed away in 1968. After his death, she married Henry Ball of Hillsboro in 1970. She moved to Hillsboro and continued to work as a private duty nurse.
On July 31, 1997, Robbie finally retired as a nurse after working for 50 years caring for the most vulnerable within her community.
Henry Ball died in 1997 and she then married Denver “Buddy” Beene in 1998. They moved to Seadrift and then later to El Campo. Denver died in August 2008. She was a member of the Methodist Church and Eastern Star in Eagle Lake.
Robbie was a born during the depression which shaped her into a frugal, strong and independent woman. Her Grandmother Lovie taught her to sew, and she made her first dress when she was only four years old. This skill led her to be an adept seamstress which helped supplement her nursing income by sewing for the community.
She was a prominent fixture in her community, and she was even the nurse for the local girl scouts’ troop when her daughter Karla was a member.
She continued to work as a nurse in her community throughout her life. She was a devoted daughter, wife and mother and always put others first. She was the first person many would call when needing advice on any survival skills in life because she always knew the right recipe.
She enjoyed traveling, a good family get together “weenie roast,” and passing on her life stories to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Everyone knew that when they walked through the doors of her house they would be welcomed with a warm hug, leave with their bellies full, and a reminder that Robbie loved them no matter what.
You could know her for five minutes or 50 years, and she would treat you as if you were family. It was her way. She was a true gem.
Before her passing, Robbie said she lived a wonderful and colorful life. We agree. She loved with her every and last breath and had no regrets.
She devoted her life to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and we all felt her wisdom as we forged our own paths with her steady by our side. She danced, worked, laughed, cried and loved with everything she had, every step of the way.
Robbie’s survivors are her son H.L. Austin and wife Susan of Alleyton; son Tim Austin and wife Maria of Alleyton; son-in-law Larry Marek of Needville; godson Deryck Pocock of Ovalo; sister-in-law Helen Beals of Midland; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Robbie was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband Henry Lorane Austin, her second husband Henry Ball, her third husband Denver “Buddy” Beene, her first child Helen Louise, her daughter Karla (Austin) Marek, her stepdaughter Sherry (Beene) Adams, her stepson David Beene, and her step granddaughter Penny Adams.
Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8 at Eagle Lake Funeral Home. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9 at Eagle Lake Funeral Home with Pastor H.O. Williams, Father Robert Guerra and Norman Clark officiating.
Burial at Lakeside Cemetery in Eagle Lake to follow.
Eagle Lake Funeral Home is handling arrangements.