PORTLAND – A large turnout is expected Saturday at Catherine McAuley High School for a memorial service to honor Teresa Beane, a dedicated nurse and mother of four children who died Tuesday after a courageous fight against cancer. She was 56.
When Mrs. Beane was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, doctors gave her three months to live. She underwent a grueling course of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
In 2005, the breast cancer returned. Doctors again were not optimistic, expecting her to live three to five months.
A couple of years later, the cancer was back again.
“She was the toughest human being I have ever known,” said her husband, David Beane, a New Media teacher at Portland Arts and Technology High School.
“I don’t know how she took the amount of pain she faced every day and still managed to smile and have a sense of hope and be happy.”
Mrs. Beane was remembered by friends and family this week as a dedicated nurse and inspiring woman who brought out the best in people. Her niece, Amy St. John, said she lived life to its fullest.
“She just willed herself to live,” St. John said. “The medical community had nothing left to offer her, but we as a family stood with her and continued to fight with her. She was amazing. She loved life and captured every moment and made it big and fun.”
Mrs. Beane worked as a nurse for the past 30 years. She began her career at the Jewish Home for the Aged, now called The Cedars. In her early career, she worked at Eastern Maine Medical Center and Bridgton Hospital, where she obtained her master certificate in nursing management.
In the mid-1990s, Mrs. Beane became a clinical adviser at Mercy Hospital in Portland. She worked there for about five years. In July of 2000, she joined Maine Medical Center as a clinical nurse. Most recently, she worked in post-operative care at MMC’s Scarborough Surgery Center.
She also taught nursing at Saint Joseph’s College and Kaplan University. She stopped working in 2008 to focus on her health.
“She loved taking care of people,” said her daughter, Katie Arnold of Portland. “She loved her patients. She loved the camaraderie and being in the trenches with her fellow nurses. She was a healer and she loved taking care of people. That’s what she was born to do. It was her passion — her patients and her family.”
The Beanes were married for 34 years and raised four children.
She supported her children’s academics and was a regular at their athletic activities. She enjoyed spending time with her family, especially at Sebago Lake.
“She loved us fiercely,” her daughter said. “She was a lioness with her children. She was hysterically funny. Her focus was her children and making memories. That was most important to her.”
Mrs. Beane’s husband spoke Friday about their life together. “It was magnificent,” he said. “We had our ups and downs and bumps along the way, but when push came to shove, she never let me down and I tried really hard to never let her down.
“As we grew, we grew to love each other more. We always held each other up. In the end, (our marriage) grew into something that I can’t even describe. It was so special.”
A celebration of her life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Catherine McAuley High School on Stevens Avenue in Portland.
Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: