Jan 132012

Brandy Beaudry Abmont, 42, died unexpectedly late Wednesday night, Jan. 4, 2012, at her home in Overgaard. A special memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, at the First Baptist Church in Heber. Following the service there will be a potluck luncheon at the Overgaard Springs Country Club.

Brandy was born on Sept. 24, 1969, to Richard Beaudry and her mother, Kathy McNeil Beaudry. In 1977, her mother married John “Jack” Locarni and Brandy truly loved being their daughter, as she was so lovingly raised by them. She affectionately referred to Jack as her “Dad.”

Following graduation from Cactus High School, Brandy went to college and became a certified nurse’s aide. Naturally, she was a very giving soul and lived to serve others. She worked several years at various nursing homes in the Valley and truly considered the elderly people that she so tenderly cared for her friends. She loved them. Brandy also developed a special love for little children and became a pre-school teacher, and taught for several years at many pre-schools in the Phoenix area.

A true nature lover at heart, Brandy loved being outdoors; not just for the beauty she found there, but also because of the animals she found there. She loved all types of animals and critters, a love nurtured by her father, Rich Beaudry. She appreciated life in all its forms, and had a dream to, one day work full-time with animals. Outside of the warm embrace of her own family, Brandy’s next greatest loves were her dogs, Ranger and Diamond, and her cat, Tika.

Brandy was proud of the fact that she was a fourth generation Arizona native. She never hesitated to let others know that her roots began in 1880 with her pioneer ancestors Homer H. and Carolyn Morris McNeil, and William R. and Elizabeth Larrabee Morris. The McNeil family, along with Spanish-American War hero “Buckey” O’Neil, started the Phoenix Gazette newspaper. Her Morris ancestors helped establish Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix, and her great-uncle, the Reverend Fred McNeil, was the first ordained minister in Arizona who was also born in Arizona.

Though she was born in the Arizona desert, Brandy did not enjoy the heat of its summers. When she had the opportunity to move to the Mogollon Rim, she jumped at the chance. She lived the past several years in Overgaard and enjoyed life there with her husband of seven years. She loved the beauty she found in the surrounding Ponderosa Pine forests and lakes. She loved spotting elk and deer, and even a skunk or two. She considered the outdoors her cathedral and felt a special closeness to her Maker.

While living in Overgaard, Brandy also affiliated herself with the local Lions Club. Though she did not officially join the club, she did participate with several of their activities and fundraisers over the years. She was a friendly and familiar face in her small community, and many will miss her sweet and gentle smile.

Survivors include her husband, Michael Abmont of Overgaard; her mom and dad, Kathy McNeil Beaudry and Kathy’s husband, Jack Locarni of Surprise during the winter months and, Overgaard during the summer months; four siblings, Sherry Locarni Thomas of Phoenix, Rick Locarni of Omaha, Neb., Tracy Locarni of Flagstaff and Jeremy Locarni of Phoenix; seven nieces and nephews; her father, Richard Beaudry and his wife Joyce of Colorado; two uncles, Peter Beaudry of Washington and Mark McNeil of Nevada; two aunts, Michele Beaudry of Chandler and Martha Helms of Arizona; her 92-year-old grandmother, Beth Beaudry Jessen of Arizona; and more than 25 first, second and third cousins in Arizona, and more than 50 living out of Arizona.

Owens Livingston Mortuary of Show Low was in charge of the arrangements.