Savona Dawn Beaudoin was born Nov. 2, 1962, in Enterprise, Ore., to Paul Beaudoin Sr. and Hannah Beaudoin. Savona was raised alongside her two younger brothers, Kirk Beaudoin and Paul Beaudoin Jr., on their family ranch. In her early years, Savona was an avid reader and a talented vocalist. She graduated from Enterprise High School in 1981.
Savona married Lee John Holmes on Nov. 15, 1980. They gave birth to their daughter, Shanna Dawn Holmes, on Sept. 29, 1982. After a few years of career searching, Savona realized that she ultimately wanted to become a novelist and a poet. Her family eventually settled in Lewiston, where she pursued her bachelor of arts in English at Lewis-Clark State College and graduated in 2004. She then attained her master of arts in literature and composition at the University of Idaho, graduating in 2008.
While pursuing her degrees, Savona worked at the University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College. She served for more than 20 years at these institutions, holding a variety of positions, including associate director of the Northwest Association of Special Programs TRIO Training, co-chairwoman of the Peer Monitoring Committee, consultant/mediator for grants and special projects, director of the Office of Grants and Contracts, and instructor of English 101 and English 102.
Her teaching and mentorship extended far beyond the classroom setting, however; her ever-growing circles of friends and family were also blessed by her wisdom. During her career, Savona also fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer. She wrote a plethora of poetry, essays and short fiction, several of which have been published.
Savona was a healer, with both her words and her hands. She had many spiritual gifts, including a profound intuition and a keen awareness to the presence of others. She believed in peace, compassion, empathy and the unity of life, and she wholeheartedly dedicated her life to those ideals. She loved plants and animals of all varieties, particularly identifying with raccoons for much of her life. Savona loved spending time outdoors; she camped every summer with her family in Oregon and her friends at the Oregon Country Fair Darling Reunion.
In November 2014, Savona was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She began radiation and chemotherapy treatment in January 2015. In May, she underwent surgery in Seattle to remove the cancerous tissue. The surgery was a success, but shortly after she suffered an infection as a complication of the surgery. Savona Beaudoin-Holmes passed away Friday, May 22, 2015.
Savona is survived by her husband, Lee John Holmes; her daughter, Shanna Snyder; her mother, Hannah Beaudoin; her brothers, John Paul Beaudoin, Steve Beaudoin, Kirk Beaudoin and his wife, Candi Beaudoin, and Paul Beaudoin Jr. and his wife, Amy Beaudoin; several aunts, uncles and cousins; numerous nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces; her German shepherd/pit bull, Scooby; and countless close friends that she also considered family. Savona's legacy will live on through all these people who were fortunate enough to be touched by her love and wisdom.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Silverthorne Theatre at Lewis-Clark State College. A reception will be held afterward in the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History. All guests are encouraged to wear either tie-dye or their best colors.