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Beverly Spies Pottenger

September 26, 1927 ~ June 23, 2018 (age 90)
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Beverly S Pottenger (Momma Bear), passed peacefully into the arms of God on Saturday June 23, 2018.  She was attended by her beloved eldest son William A Pottenger III who gracefully comforted her with tales of her life and her importance to her family and friends as she slipped free of her earthly bonds.  Prior to her passing, Momma Bear gallantly fought her illness for several weeks constantly tended by her children William, Marguerite, Warren, and her grandson Justin.  Momma Bear lived a full life to the young age of 90 and ¾ years and was an inspiration to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.  She was a devoted daughter, mother to 4 children and a host of Camp Fire Girls, a supportive wife to her husband, an active force in the building of St. Augustine’s Church in Tempe Arizona, a 25-year field researcher for the University of Michigan and had all the positive attributes of a modern woman (intelligence, self-sufficiency, fierce devotion to family) decades before the idea became popular.  She was an exceptionally creative and artistic person who could sew, paint (imagine a plaid bedroom for her sons – painted one strip at a time), make costumes for the 1970 Miss USA contest where her eldest daughter was 2nd runner up.  Momma Bear personally never met an obstacle that would stop her for long. She was a determined and patient person whose personal motto was “think of something” when confronted with a problem.  She painted her own house with a two-inch brush, renovated a house with her eldest children, sewed her own clothes, managed her own finances, and managed all this while being at her core, a kind and loving person.  Momma Bear entered the world as Beverly Ann Spies on September 27, 1927 in Bartlesville Oklahoma to her proud parents Warren Talmadge Spies and Olive Eastman Spies and one sister Elaine Spies.  She moved with her family to Chicago Illinois while a teenager and attended New Trier High School near the banks of Lake Michigan.  She first attended the University of Chicago before heading West to the University of Denver where she earned a degree in Mathematics which was unusual for a woman at that time. While still at the University of Denver, Momma Bear decided to take a vacation and randomly picked a destination on the map with her finger which turned out to be Tucson Arizona.  While on this vacation, she met her husband to be William Pottenger Jr. who she married after completing her degree.  Momma Bear moved with her new husband to Berkeley where he attended the University of California Seminary at Berkeley.  Two children were born to the couple (Susanne and William) while Dad was attending seminary. In 1953 the newly minted clergy and family moved to Holbrook Arizona to accept service at St. Georges Episcopal Church.  In 1954, the family moved to Tempe Arizona where Dad assumed leadership of St. Augustine’s Episcopal church.  In 1955 and 1956 the family welcomed the last two additions Marguerite and Warren respectively.  Momma Bear remained in Tempe for the remainder of her life where her children attended Payne Training school, Tempe High School, and various universities including ASU, UA, and SMU.  Momma Bear fiercely loved her children and was preceded in death by her eldest daughter Susanne (2011) and is survived by one daughter Marguerite (Peggy) Pottenger of Tempe Arizona, two sons, William A Pottenger III of Tempe Arizona and Warren T Pottenger of Richardson Texas, and one grandson Justin Warren William Pottenger of San Jose California.  She will be sorely missed by her family.  A Celebration of Beverly's life will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 10:00 AM at St Stephens Episcopal Church, 2310 North 56th Street, Phoenix, Arizona.       – we love you deeply Momma Bear -

Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassioantely serving the family.

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