Safe Home: Noreen O’Brien Beardmore

Safe Home

Thank you for all if the hugs, well wishes, shared stories and friendship. My sister Noreen went home to God on Sunday June 13th, surrounded by all of her kids, grandkids, siblings and our parents.

She said several times as we all prayed together, that she was at peace, and I believe that she is. We cannot due justice to her heart, her fight, her grace, her faith, her smile, her active support of so many, and her deep love for God.

John Jr., Cate, Noreen & Trish

Noreen’s Alliteration

I see you in the water, when you wouldn’t let me drown
I see you in the in the music, as opposed to watching The Crown
I see you on the ice, and a fistfight with the male bully
I got your glasses safe; the lessons I absorbed, fully

I see you singing at Erieview High, in Annie Get Your Gun impressions
I see you in young Annie, the motions and facial expressions
I hear you in my head, with gentle little nudges
Cape Cod –trying to teach me to smile, we wept against the judges

The green crash and Roger Fallon, the IA at West 93rd
Camogie, The Jerk, the front porch, the sounds I never heard
At times we had like-minded magic, at times we had Dairy Queen
And of course, we had St. Patrick’s Day, laughing with everything so obnoxiously green

The stories of Mike, the depths of love, the hope running ever eternal
Watching you raise your kids, trying not to laugh, while eyes seemed fire infernal
Instilling the love, of God & country, and the one across the pond
The door always open; the kettle always boiling, of this we are inordinately fond

I see you in the church, and the bishop embracing
The love of God rising by day, so many trials head on facing
I see you Irish dancing, and thinking, Hell NO
Why did you have to leave us, with so many joys still to go?

I bid you farewell; watch over your kids and theirs too
There’s nothing stronger than a mother’s love, for what else can a mother do?
Tho you fret, though you worried, you will always be adored
Rest in peace, Dear Noni, in the gentle arms of our Lord

Noreen O’Brien Beardmore
April 28, 1961 – June 13, 2021

Noreen Theresa (O’Brien) Beardmore passed away on Sunday, June 13 at home surrounded by her family. Her last hours were filled with faith, praying rosaries with friends the night before her passing and with her family the morning of. Noreen fought a vigorous battle with cancer and her family considers the battle won as her whole life is a miracle.

Noreen was born in Montreal, Canada to Irish immigrant parents on April 28, 1961 and was the oldest of four children. As a devout Catholic family, the O’Briens never missed Mass. When they moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1963, their home melded the best of Irish-American culture, including a beloved Irish festival that the whole family participated in running.

Noreen graduated from the all-girls Catholic high school St. Joseph’s Academy in Cleveland, Ohio in 1979 and was class president. Cleveland served as the highly social platform for her upbringing as she attended dances, organized fundraisers, and navigated the city working various jobs to earn money for school.

Noreen attended Duquesne University to study nursing. While at Duquesne, she was awarded the Heinz scholarship for women in global leadership which allowed her to travel to many different countries. When asked during the interview process about which quality defined her most she said, “I am, above all things, a Catholic.”

Noreen was truly a very devout woman. She hungered to know the teachings of the faith and to love Jesus more and more. She spent time volunteering at St. Boniface Parish, the Lafayette Catholic Schools System, and to personal prayer and growth in faith.

As a nurse, Noreen was the first person in Ohio to be accepted by the Amish community to give immunizations. She was tender with patients and loved her career as pediatric nurse. It is how she met her husband, pediatrician Mike Beardmore.

Noreen married Mike in 1990 and they moved to Lafayette, Indiana. Their marriage was one of deep love, hard work, and beautifully shared values. Together they raised 8 children and sent them all through Catholic schools. Noreen and Mike built a family that was centered on humor, music, quality time, and faith. They too ensured that Mass was never missed and family dinner was central to their lives together.

Noreen served as a member of the Governance Board of the Catholic Schools and started a Catholic moms group called “What Would Mary Do?” Unofficially, she was known for seeking out new moms in the parking lot or recognizing when young moms were having a tough time. Noreen loved to connect people with new friends or opportunities that used their gifts. Later in life she worked as the Health & Safety coordinator for the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.

When Noreen was diagnosed with cancer the family committed fervently to family rosaries and she brought many others into the fold. A weekly zoom rosary was started for friends from around the country and in Ireland to pray together for healing. These friends say it was an inspiring group to be part of; par for the course for a friendship with Noreen.

Recently Noreen was given the “He Leads, I Follow” Award from St. Boniface Principal Sr. Lenore and former pastor Fr. Tim Alkire. Noreen was presented a statue of Blessed Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel for the goodness and humanity she has shown to so many people.

Noreen wasn’t perfect. She wasn’t good at cooking eggs until her later years. She frequently told her children that she couldn’t hear herself think. And she kept far too many Martha Stewart magazines with very little intention of ever reading them again.

But those closest to her say that she always knew the right thing to say. She was everyone’s shoulder to cry on. And her children would have rathered had a short amount of time with her as a mother than a lifetime with any other.

There was always room at the table with Noreen and her magazine-worthy garden doesn’t compare to the blooms of friendships she cultivated and kept around the world. Her family is certain that she will work even harder from Heaven for her friends and family and encouraged everyone to reach out in prayer to Noreen throughout their lives.

Noreen is survived by her loving husband, Mike and her eight children: Caitie, Tommy (fiancé Natasha), Brian, John & Casey, Will, Michael, Annie & Caroline. She has two grandchildren: Henry & Peter. She is also survived by her parents; John & Eileen O’Brien, her sisters Cathy (John Lang) and Patricia (Philip Parente) and brother, John, Jr. She has 11 nieces and nephews who have always meant so much to her. Proceeding her in death is her infant daughter, Mary Clare who the family knows greeted her excitedly in Heaven.

Although Noreen loved flowers, what would mean most to her would be the Catholic education of more children. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Lafayette Catholic School System.



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