In Loving Memory of Bethany Sara Autumn Kalquist Nelson

Bethany Sara Autumn Kalquist Nelson, a loving mother and multi-platform storyteller from Camas, Washington, peacefully passed away on February 22, 2023, surrounded by family. She was 38 years old.

Bethany was born on September 20, 1984, in Kingston, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Gregg Nelson and Susan (Nelson) Borthwick. From a young age, Bethany displayed a love for the natural world and its wonders, always eager to share her discoveries with others. She spent countless hours exploring her surroundings, finding beauty in everything, from the tiniest flowers to the grandest trees and mountains. Her heart was entranced by the world around her, emboldening her to be the inspiring force of nature she was.

Filled with boundless creativity and imagination, Bethany and her younger sister, Jenny, embarked on extraordinary adventures together. Whether it involved leaping off swings into fantasy worlds, exploring the Amish lifestyle, or following her meticulously organized camp schedules, each playtime activity was filled with inspiration and excitement.

Her brave, determined spirit, evident even in childhood, propelled her forward with an unstoppable drive.

As a teenager, she faced her first cancer with incredible courage and maturity, which amazed those around her. Despite being only 15 years old, she viewed that experience as a calling to live a grander, more meaningful existence. In recent years, after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, she remained steadfast in her belief that her journey served a higher purpose.

Bethany’s ultimate ambition was to awaken others to life’s inherent beauty and joy. She hoped to help inspire a collective commitment to community, decency, and compassion. Moreover, she yearned to foster a deeper appreciation for nature and the priceless gifts it bestowed upon humanity. In many ways, she accomplished this through her creative endeavors. 

One of her greatest pleasures was storytelling. Published as Autumn Kalquist, Bethany achieved success as a best-selling author of the Fractured Era book series, captivating readers with her imaginative, thought-provoking stories enriched by descriptive and vivid imagery. Writing provided an outlet for Bethany to express empathy and compassion, allowing her to connect with others in a unique and meaningful way. 

In addition to her writing, Bethany was a gifted artist and photographer. As co-founder of Nature Magick, she independently created, published, and licensed artwork and photography with her partner, Kyle.

When not engaged in creating art or writing, she poured her heart and soul into composing intricate compositions. In tandem with her best friend, Carolanne, she published several songs that resonated within the hearts of those who listened. 

Beyond her creative pursuits, Bethany was an unwavering advocate for living life to the fullest, urging others to be fearless in pursuing their dreams, regardless of the odds. Her infectious enthusiasm and profound intuition left an indelible mark on everyone fortunate enough to cross her path.

Her heart overflowed with gratitude and love, and she remained in awe of the magic that envelopes us all. Her legacy lives on through her most cherished gift: her daughter, Avalon, who is a testament to the deep and abundant love and joy she shared.

Bethany’s beautiful light continues to shine all around us and within the hearts of her loved ones: Kyle Nelson, Avalon Gonzalez Moreno, Jennifer (William) Pope, Gregory Nelson, Susan (John) Borthwick, Carolanne (Ashley) Wolfe, Juan (Regan) Gonzalez Moreno, Jamie (Aaron) Lewis, and many others. 

Though Bethany’s physical presence is no longer with us, her essence lives on through the stories she wove, the art she crafted and the music she composed. All around the world, her creations continue to inspire, entertain, and awaken people.

In honor of her extraordinary life, a virtual gathering took place on Saturday, August 19, 2023.

The event will be posted online at a date to be determined.

Please share your memories below <3

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  1. Reader Avatar

    I didn’t know her personally, a few weeks ago I was just a reader who wondered why my favorite series of hers was discontinued. Now I feel guilty for wondering.
    Im glad her passing was peaceful and surrounded by family, she seems like a wonderful person, alongside being a talented writer.

  2. Nora Avatar

    Bethany befriended me during cross country practice at Bishop O’Reilly. She was a funny, lovable, and talented girl. I wrote a little something else hopefully that can be used at her memorial. I remember Bethany called me one day and said, “Nora, I just heard the funniest quote – Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.” Bethany lived a beautiful life, not without pain, but I know she really loved life and experienced it to the fullest. I miss you and love you, Bethany!

  3. Sarah Avatar

    I was so very heartbroken when I first heard the news. I met Beth when I worked for her father Gregg and with her sister Jennifer. She was a joy to be around and genuinely kind. She was an inspiration when it came to art, especially writing to me. She will be missed and she will always be loved. My heart hurts for her and her family.

  4. Malinda Trapanese Avatar
    Malinda Trapanese

    Bethany came into my life during a particularly hard time for both of us back in 2007ish? We were both military wives stationed in Hawaii, and our husbands, who worked together, were leaving on an Iraq deployment for 6 months. Unlike Bethany, I was also active duty and had to work long hours, which sometimes included weekends. Also unlike Bethany, I was caring for 3 children- my two kids, Kenny 12, Leia 1 yr and my neice, Sarah 13. So she would babysit for me if I had to work during times that the kids weren’t in school or when Leia’s daycare wasn’t open.

    This was before she & Juan had Avalon, so Bethany wasn’t as “domestically experienced” to put it nicely, lol. Still, she did her best and I would have lost my mind if it wasn’t for her helping me and keeping me company. She was like my deployment spouse, lol. She’d babysit while I worked and I’d come home and make us all dinner, since she couldn’t really cook back then. She’d join us for our family work-outs and I’d help her move or change her car battery- we were very much opposites, but it seemed to work. (I’m actually smiling as I write this).

    One thing we shared though, was our love for books. We swapped them all the time and I remember giving her The Mists of Avalon to read. It was a huge book and she finished it in less than 2 days! Now whether or not It was that book that inspired her to name her baby girl, I couldn’t say- those stories are well known, afterall. But years later, when she told me her baby’s name, I immediately thought of my loaning it to her.

    Sadly, we didn’t see as much of each other once our husbands returned and just a few months later, I was sent to Iraq for my own 6 month deployment. When I came back, we maybe hung out a handful of times before our families each got stationed across the country from each other. We slowly grew apart and stopped talking completely.

    Then, just a few years ago, I started thinking about her again and realized we weren’t even FB friends anymore. I reached out to Juan and was stunned to learn they had divorced years before that and she had become a successful author pen named as Autumn Kalquist! I couldn’t believe it. We reunited on messenger and caught up, and I followed her work online.

    She seemed happy, living her best life. I gushed about her to my niece, Sarah, who had become her little side-kick during that time in Hawaii. We were so proud of her! And later in 2019, I reached out to Bethany in pain after Sarah took her own life and we reminisced about her.
    ( and now I can’t stop crying).
    Bethany had told me about her struggles with cancer, but last I remembered she was in remission. After Covid, I was trying to distance myself from social media, so I didn’t realize she was sick again. Then yesterday, I smiled as I was scrolling through FB and saw her picture pop up, but was instantly heartbroken as I read the post and realized it was her obituary. Oh, sweet girl. And her precious Avalon.

    Bethany really did mean a lot to me and I hate that we grew apart like we did. She really was unlike any other person I’ve met and was so inspiring. My heart goes out to all her family, friends, & loved ones & all those blessed to have known her. She was an incredible human being.

    1. Gregg Nelson Avatar
      Gregg Nelson

      Malinda, I have read your comments many times and they mean so much to me. Over the last 6 or 7 years things changed for her and she delved into very deep spiritual parts of life. When her cancer returned she fought back very hard but she told me that she knew she was in trouble……I learned so much about life and love from my daughter in those last years and months. We would talk every day and many times I would come away with the thought that I had nothing to add to the very deep and instructive ideas that she brought up in our conversations. It was as if I was the child.
      She was an incredible spirit….and it was evident from the very beginning…. I miss her every day.

  5. Just an avid reader Avatar
    Just an avid reader

    I did not know her personally. I am just a fan of her work. I am saddened that she has past, but glad that she was with friends and family.

    I simply wish her peace and to her friends and family comfort.

  6. Kimberly Kane Avatar
    Kimberly Kane

    Forever grateful for being part of her life. One of the last things she shared with me “if you walk through life with your heart center closed, like most people do, trying to control life to be “safe” you are cut off from experiencing the Magick and because you can’t feel it you believe it’s not real. It’s REAL!” and “Everything you suspect is real that out society doesn’t believe in IS real, the things I used to write about as “Magick” in my books all have a real world equivalent that is more exciting than any book I’ve ever read or wrote.” I’ll cherish this final conversation always.

    You said her ultimate ambition was to awaken others to life’s inherent beauty and joy and she certainly did. Forever reminding me the part of myself to tune into and nourish and to never doubt the magic in this world. I love you Bethany. I love you Jen. And much love to all family and friends still processing her transition from our physical world ❤️

  7. Joanne Demmerle Avatar
    Joanne Demmerle

    Bethany was and will Always be Remembered as a Loving, Constant Warrior. She spent her Life with Passion, Constantly Evolving, Sharing Her Strengths and Ambitions with Everyone that she could. I am So Proud of Bethany and will always Love and Honor Her. I have been so Lifted in my life from everything she had done and of all of her Accomplishments. I will always continue to remember your presence and Rejoice Your Life. I will Always Love you Bethany. With All My Love, Aunt Joanne. XXXOO… ❤️😘🙏

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