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Obituary: Beth Olmstead

July 16, 1959 – July 4, 2018

Beth Olmstead’s dazzling, joyful life force lit up each and every room she entered, beginning on July 16, 1959, at her birth in Escalon, California, and forever changing the world for the better in the decades that followed. The fourth child of Warren and Beverly Fowler, she grew up in Idaho and California laughing, crying, and scheming with her beloved sisters Laurie and Julie, who delighted in her unabashed sense of fun and enthusiasm for life.

Beth, always a brilliant and driven student, grew into a beautiful, kind woman with shining eyes, and a strong sense of self. She embraced every opportunity to live to the fullest and threw herself into every activity available at Murtaugh High, including cheerleading, track and basketball, graduating in 1977. She followed her sister to Idaho State University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, and her Master’s Degree in Education Administration. She was a natural fit in education, where she chose to direct her multitude of talents, and her passion for making a difference by teaching and inspiring, leading and loving countless students, colleagues, and her entire community.

Beth taught 6th grade for two years at Bickel Elementary, before she moved to Lincoln. She was never afraid of a challenge, and when presented with the opportunity to lead Lincoln Elementary as principal 18 years ago, Beth unhesitatingly dove in headfirst. She adored her students, colleagues and her work, and she fostered a sense of family, fun, and dedication in which the children and the staff under her care could bloom and thrive. The state and nation recognized her with numerous awards for her leadership of a Title I school, and she was a fearless advocate for kids, especially those who are disadvantaged in our community. Her energy, compassion, and dedication made all the difference at Lincoln and to the world beyond, as she fought for the dignity and right of every child, regardless of circumstances, to learn and to have futures filled with kindness and opportunity. Her exuberant leadership improved the Twin Falls school district and she even recently testified before the Idaho Legislature on behalf of all of Idaho’s children and educators.

But above all, Beth was a force of radiant, abundant love for her family. She married Bob, the love of her life, on August 3, 1996. Beth beamed happiness and warmth to surrounding friends and family, new and old, as she walked down the sun-streaked aisle barefoot in her beautiful, rose-scented garden. It was the start of Bob and Beth’s life of love, happiness, teamwork, laughter, and countless adventures together — indeed, Beth had a talent for making anything and everything an adventure.

Of all her passions, her children reigned supreme. To her great joy and delight, she became a mother when she and her first husband, Tim Crist, welcomed their oldest son Andrew, and their daughter Cara into the world in 1983 and 1986. She was an amazing mom, and she embraced every opportunity she had to share her infinite love. She expanded her family without hesitation, welcoming stepsons Nick, Jeff, and Andy Olmstead with her trademark warmth and enthusiasm, and she and Bob rounded out their brood of amazing children with the addition of their son Blaine in 1997. Beth passed on her sparkling zest for life, learning, and making a difference to her children, and she was incredibly proud that each of them have chosen paths in which they too can make a positive difference in the world. In recent years, Beth was elated to become a doting, proud, and fabulous grandmother to three beloved grandbabies — it was her favorite role yet!

Beth was happiest outdoors with her family and friends, expertly slicing through powder on Baldy while rocking fabulous new ski pants and skis, fly fishing in clear blue streams, gazing into dazzling, sunny summer skies, crying at the conclusion of her beloved Wagon Day Parade as the last hitch rolled down the street, camping at the Pacific Ocean on spring break, trading laughs with loved ones around glowing fires, and encouraging mischief in her beloved German Shepherd, Daisy.

She was preceded in death by Warren and Beverly Fowler. She is survived by her beloved husband, Bob Olmstead; her cherished children Andrew (Amanda) Crist, Cara (Alex) Crist Joslin, and Blaine Olmstead, and her step sons Nick Olmstead, Jeff Olmstead, and Andy Olmstead; her adored grandchildren Carson Crist, Benson Crist, and Arlo Joslin; her sisters Julie (Roger) Toberer and Laurie (Jackson) Allred; Scott (Carla) Fowler; and countless friends, extended family, colleagues, and students.

Her hearty laugh still echoes in our ears as it did in life, her dazzling light will forever shine in our hearts, and her warm embrace, once felt, can never be forgotten. Sleep well, dear Beth. You are loved, you made a difference, you are appreciated, and you will always always always be missed.

Beth believed that every child was the future, and that each was worthy of investment in their education and well-being. She showed us the way, and it is now up to all those who loved her to take up her torch so that it may continue to shine upon students and serve as a beacon for future leaders in the years to come. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Beth’s name to the Twin Falls Education Foundation (2190 Village Park Avenue, Suite 300, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301).

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A viewing will be held Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at Reynolds Funeral Chapel from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., followed by a private family inurnment on Thursday, July 12, 2018.

The community is welcome to attend her Celebration of Life on Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 4:00 pm at Canyon Crest Event Center, 330 Canyon Crest Drive, Twin Falls.

Services are under the direction of Reynolds Funeral Chapel, Twin Falls.

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