A celebration of love and appreciation was be held in the chapel of Litwiller-Simonsen, Ashland for Beth W. Bornet (pictured here in the mid-1950s), an honored Ashland Community Hospital volunteer, Girl Scout leader-trainer, and much-loved family member who passed away at age 88 on the morning of November 22, 2012.
Mrs. Bornet, an Ashland resident since 1963, was preceded in death by her father, George A. Winchester, a community leader of Susanville, and her mother, Aura P. Winchester, a Lassen County teacher who retired in Ashland. Her husband, Vaughn Davis Bornet, a research historian affiliated with Southern Oregon University, 1963-80 survives her. They were married in 1944, after a brief courtship at Naval Air Station, Alameda, where he was Barracks Officer.
After graduation from Lassen Union High School, and a year at Lassen Junior College when she served as Queen of Job's Daughters, Beth attended University of Nevada, Reno, graduating as 1945 class president and member of Gamma Phi Beta. Her married years included life in the wartime Navy community. Later came Macon, Miami, Menlo Park, Glen Ellyn (Illinois), Santa Monica, and Ashland.
Arriving in Jackson County in 1963, Beth was active in the Girl Scouts of America as volunteer and professional staff member. She trained future troop leaders and coordinated camping for two decades. The Bornets guided their son to Eagle Scout and her daughter to Curved Bar in Girl Scouts.
Among Beth's very many leadership positions were presidency of the Oregon Hospital Auxiliary, 1981 and Ashland Hospital Auxiliary, 1972-1974. She initiated hospital pediatric tours, chairing them for 15 years. She happily served the free blood pressure clinic. In 1998, the Ashland Hospital Board presented Mrs. Bornet with their first certificate of appreciation, in recognition of 25 years of leadership and "hard work and dedication, making the Auxiliary what it is today." She was president of the Ashland Hospital Foundation. (Today's Ashland Lights for Life at Christmas was her fundraising idea now amplified by others.) Throughout, Beth showed "commitment, devotion, and loyalty," it was said. In 1990, Jackson County gave her its Volunteer of the Month award.
Locally, she was president of Dine and Discover dinner group, Altrusa Club of Jackson County, Southern Oregon College Faculty Wives Club, Ashland Study Club, and others. Beth was a longtime Precinct 2 elections clerk. She served with Red Cross Blood Bank and the Tudor Guild. She enjoyed the Military Officers Association of Southern Oregon and the Rogue Valley Yacht Club. She constantly contributed services as a faculty wife. In spring, 1969, she joined her historian husband on a four-month World Campus Afloat voyage around the world, working as secretary to the Dean.
Beth enjoyed the Ashland Library, sewing, gourmet cooking, sailing, camping, fishing, and trailering. Beth greeted many local citizens by name and was an upbeat "people person."
Mrs. Bornet is survived by two married children, Barbara Bornet Stumph, of Walnut Creek, Calif., retired teacher and Chinese art specialist, and Stephen Folwell Bornet, CDR (USNR, Ret.) a retired corporation executive, now a realtor in Stamford, Conn. Both are graduates of Ashland High School with university degrees. Mrs. Bornet's extended family consists of three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Overall, can it not be quietly suggested that Beth's years among us set a good example and were well spent?