Memorializing the Life of John Peter Beaver
My father’s obituary can be found here at the Smith Corcoran funeral home website. Thank you to everyone who took time to cook for us, support us, call, send letters and email, fly cross-country, Skype and in general make us feel encircled by the love my father inspired in the world.
My words of remembrance delivered at his funeral, Friday June 10, at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church are below:
We are here today to celebrate the life of my beloved father, John Beaver. I am and always will be a daddy’s girl. He taught me how to swim and called me his little water bug. I was his sidekick out at the bars frequented by jockeys in Louisville, Kentucky drinking a stiff Shirley Temple. We, or I should say, he, hiked with me on his back in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we went camping with our Japanese foreign exchange student. He drove the boat in Jackson, Mississippi and his cherished Door County and allowed me to sit at the prow and dangle my legs over the side and let the wind blow wild in my hair.
John was an Eagle Scout and a true Midwestern American Dad. He supported our family and never missed a day of work. We would take long car trips and talk to truckers on his CB radio. He would drive through blizzards to get us up north for skiing – and when I saw all of the cars pulled over on the side of the road I knew that would never be my family. We were safe with Dad driving. Nothing could hurt us. He made us powerful with his goodness, his steadfastness, his devotion to our family. He was a good man, which is so hard to find these days (it took me 43 years, but my mom is much smarter and found my Dad at 23). He didn’t care for money or fancy things. He didn’t care for fancy people or the trappings of success (except porches!). He wore his timex religiously when there were rolexes in the cabinet. As the old adage goes, my father truly had his “heart in the right place.”
My Dad showed up in life because he wanted to be there. He went to our games and recitals. He showed up at art openings, plays and concerts. He made it a point to be present, go on the ski trip or golf trip or off to Africa with my mother. He loved what life had to offer – the delicious meals and fine wines. He provided for us and was a beloved partner to my mother, Pamela.
My father and mother had 46 good years together. 44 if you take out my adolescence. They married because they shared similar values. They both wanted to lead an interesting life. Together they sampled the delights of life, collecting friends from sea to shining sea. My mother was my father’s best friend.
The love they have for each other was palpable my entire life but even more so as my mother toiled to take of my father as he grew more ill. My mother just being in the room soothed his soul when things were difficult. In an age that people seem to find love so mysterious and hard to find- it was never elusive for me. My parents acted out love every day for each other, providing our family with a steadfast stability that will never waver. We will continue in my father’s memory to experience life’s joys, savor our good health, nurture our relationships and stand tall in our communities.
My mother will continue to enjoy her life as my father would have wanted and his spirit lives on with David and his beautiful grandkids and each of you here who have taken the time to come out and pay tribute.
My father told me he had hoped for a “long goodbye” since his own father, Leo, passed suddenly when he was only 15. He received his wish and our entire family, and his friends from far and wide came and circled him with love. I told my dad I would miss him forever. He died knowing we would do anything for him…and that our love knows no earthly bounds. His suffering has come to an end and he has been returned to his maker. For this, I am grateful.
May his mother, Margie, father Leo and sister Mary and all of his relations and friends who have left before him guide him through the spirit life.
To my sweet father,
until we meet again,
May God hold you
in the palm of His hand.
Rest in peace.