Music is my passion – Teaching is my love!
Beth embraced these ideals her entire 98 years of life. She was born in a typical, small, early 1900s modest farm home in Meridian, Idaho. It consisted of two bedrooms, a large farm kitchen, parlor, fully screened sleeping porch – complete with the requisite wood-burning stove for cooking and heating, kerosene lamps and candles for lighting, with water pumped and carried from a well – and the cleanest outside two-seater privy in Ada County! Most importantly, the family home contained a piano and large wind-up Victrola.
With enthusiastic support from her rural community, friends, and family, she became a proficient and respected musician. Beth started by playing songs on the piano she heard from records, “by ear”, beginning at age four. She easily learned how to play the flute, organ and harmonica, but saxophone and clarinet claimed her heart. Music was a crucial part of all family and social life. Board games, cards, and the music of family and friends in the parlor took the place of our current blitz of electronic media riches.
The family spent several winter months of each year in Long Beach, as her father’s health deteriorated. Although a true Idaho girl, California, and particularly Long Beach, became her home.
Beth had participated in all musical venues offered in Boise, Idaho, and was well known in musical circles there and in Long Beach. As a member of the Long Beach Women’s Symphony in 1933, she was recognized in Long Beach Press Telegram and Idaho Statesman newspaper articles, which paid special tribute to the woodwind section under her control, and stated that she was the only non-professional to hold a principal’s seat in the Orchestra. Quite impressive for a 17 year-old!
She participated in music classes at USC, receiving credits while earning her AA degree at Long Beach City College in 1937. With a provisional teaching credential, she continued with her music passion and added classes at Long Beach State College to advance her love of teaching. Beth had been teaching for many years when she graduated from Long Beach State in 1958. She felt so strongly that all children, no matter their age, should experience the love of learning, and unconditional acceptance throughout their educational experience. Kindergarten children in Trona, San Clemente in the early 1940s, and in Long Beach from 1949 until her retirement in 1977, were the recipients of this dedication.
Beth joyfully “adopted” the children of her immediate family and friends. She gave generously of her time and resources to all who had a need or desire to learn.
Her wit and droll sense of humor made Beth a welcome addition to educational, religious, and family events. Her ever-present smile and ready laugh delighted those around her.
During the last 5 1/2 years of her life, she was a treasured resident of the Quaker Gardens Memory Care Center, and a reliable friend to other residents and staff. Often, former students who were visiting their aged relatives at Quaker Gardens, recognized her with great warmth. Her short-term memory was faulty, but there was little problem with long-term memories. Never did she lose her ability to entertain residents and guests as she would play and sing at the piano every day – without sheet music.
She often mentioned what fulfilling life she had lived. We know she would be so very pleased to share this continuing legacy of music and teaching with present and future scholarship recipients.