Sheila’s Mom passed away December 23, 2017 and was the last of our four parents. We were blessed with all of our parents being at our wedding (above) on September 6, 1987. They were all four great role models and we consider ourselves quite lucky to be members of the elite group dubbed “Children’s of Functional Families”! Both our Dads died 6 months apart, Sheila’s in November 2004 and Spencer’s in March 2005. We want our friends to know about Five Wishes, an affordable tool for officially documenting your end-of-life preferences. Spencer’s Mom died in January 2013 and Sheila’s Mom died in her sleep, December 2017, two weeks before turning 92. Below are tributes to each of them.
Spencer’s Dad, Ray Beard, died March 26, 2005
My beloved father, Raymond Pearce Beard, died on March 26, 2005. He’d been suffering from complications of a stroke since the previous July. The stroke was actually a complication from his quintuple bypass surgery in May of 2004. It had been a rough year for Daddy.
I was blessed to have been able to be with him and my family during his final days. He was at Willamette Falls Hospital in Oregon City. The staff there was wonderful, but it became clear that Dad wasn’t going to pull through the latest episode. They monitored his pain levels, but disconnected all the other hospital paraphernalia except the catheter.
My mom, siblings, spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren spent 3 days at Dad’s bedside listening to him breathe and having our final time together. We were quite a crowd, sometimes numbering nearly 30 in the waiting room. In his last hours, Dad was surrounded by Mom and the seven kids. It was quite a special time.
He passed relatively easily. We were glad he could let go of a life which had been quite wonderful, but physically unbearable by the end. One very special moment came when Sister Vivian played harp music to help the transition just minutes after Dad died.
We’ll all miss him terribly. He was a fabulous person, an excellent dad, the role model of your dreams. I’ll always remember him sitting at his loom, putting together another Navajo rug. Or maybe I’ll always remember him waking me up for my paper route and delivering bundles of papers for me to pick up on the way. Or maybe……
View the beautiful catalog of Ray’s Navajo rugs. Note: this is a 2.5 mg PDF.
Sheila’s Dad, Jerry Hoffman died November 14, 2004
Allen Jerome (Jerry) Hoffman died November 14, 2004, at the age of 79 in Aventura, Florida after an 18 month battle with cancer. Born May 15, 1925, in New York, a son of Gertrude (Meisel) and Joseph Hoffman, he is a former resident of Middletown, Rhode Island.
He and his brother, Delmore, had owned and operated the West End Cleaners on Connell Highway in Newport. He was later employed by Bristol Toyota Village and Competition Imports as a salesman.
Mr. Hoffman and wife, Brenda, have lived in Miami Gardens, Florida for the past 15 years where he was employed until a few years ago at Metro-Dade Greynolds Park Golf Course. An avid golfer, he was a former club champion at Pocasset Country Club and member of the Montaup Country Club in Portsmouth. He was a US Army Veteran of WWII and a member of the Newport Kiwanis for many years.
Mr. Hoffman is survived by his wife of 57 years, Brenda (Levy) and their two children, Sheila who resides with her husband in Seattle, Washington and Howard Eric (Ric) who resides with his wife at the family homestead in Middletown. He also leaves three granddaughters, Heather of Newport, Shaina of Boston, MA and Sarah of Providence.
Mary Alice Beard changed those around her with love, humor, and care. Each person she ever interacted with came away infected with a smile she had inspired by the sparkle in her eye and the certitude that you were exactly the person she had been waiting to see. Whether a family member or a casual acquaintance, each felt that spirit.
Her seven children, 16 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren all carry her humor, love of art, vigor for life and joy in everyday things. She passed to each of them a sense that they were her favorite, her love, her most valued possession.
Her sense of humor and fun were amazing. She stunned her kids by joining in a water fight, then chasing them into the house with the garden hose. No, she didn’t stop at the door, but brought the hose right inside.
The love and excitement was her way of teaching the most important lessons: to love those you touch with all your heart, to live with passion, and above all to be grateful and serve others.
Her greatest love was for her husband Ray. There certainly was a party when those two got together again!
Brenda was the youngest and only remaining member of a large family, born and raised in Bristol, RI and graduating from Colt Memorial High School. She leaves behind her daughter Sheila Hoffman (Seattle) and son, Howard (Ric) Hoffman. Ric has been at her side in Middletown since she moved back from Florida in 2013 to be near her granddaughters (Sarah, Shaina & Heather) and to see the birth of her great granddaughters (Zoey & Isla).
In her youth, Brenda jitterbugged with sailors at the USO and was an airplane spotter during WWII. Brenda was a devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was a Girl Scout leader, active in Hadassah, a regular Mah Jong player, became a Welcome Wagon Hostess and eventually retired from Newport Hospital as an Operating Room secretary. Her positive out-going personality served her well throughout her life and continued on to the end at the Grand Islander.
Brenda and her husband Jerry retired and spent 14 years together in North Miami Beach. After Jerry’s passing in November of 2004, Brenda spent 8 years at Kings Point, Del Rey Beach, Florida.
A large Celebration of Life was held with Brenda present in 2014, therefore, there will be no funeral or memorial service held, per her request. Remembrances can be sent to:
Hadassah of RI
1320 Centre Street, Suite 205
Newton Center, Massachusetts 02459