Jay Beeler

Losing a spouse after 53 years of marriage leaves a huge void in your life but having three adult children and a broader support group of relatives, neighbors and friends can ease the pain.

When Anita and I were married in 1968 I would smile when she would say “Jay, you are so smart.” Obviously, I had her fooled in those early days, because I rarely get more than 20 percent of the answers right on Jeopardy!

Anita was really the smart one when it came to raise our children. She was very creative with knitting crafts, being a homemaker and partner and was financially savvy around a free-spending husband.

The smartest thing that we did together was to purchase a home in Park Estates that grew to more than 25 times the original cost. The second smartest thing that we did was to have wills and trusts established well in advance.


Smoking kills. She enjoyed smoking at least a pack of “Virginia Slimes” every day and I was very surprised that initial tests performed at Memorial Hospital showed that her lungs were clear of any tumors. It was her heart that succumbed to her annual $6,000 not-so-smart habit.

Only after she was admitted to the hospital did I learn of her neck and shoulder pain complaints, made to others. That, coupled with jaw pain, is reportedly a sign of coronary issues for some people. So, what started out as ear pain and difficulty in hearing evolved to a much more serious situation.

We are now planning to receive a few dozen relatives and friends from across the country for a celebration of life on May 1. A 20-minute video tribute has been prepared; daughter Mindy has produced an attractive, printed handout and has sent evites; son Jeffrey, daughter Janet and brother Tom have prepared our home for an extended weekend of visitors.

The challenge this week is to get rid of a steel, like-new workbench that Anita used to manufacture a few hundred Christmas stockings in what was once our study. It has two-drawers, measures 24”d, 54”w, 37”h, comes with accessory tray and bottom shelf. Call me at (562) 716-6565 if you’d like to have it for free.

But the pain endures. We would rather have Anita back in our lives; she has left us much too soon.


The announcement of our Best of Long Beach contest winners has been delayed to the May 6 issue, due to the unexpected workload associated with the death of a loved one and planning a major event. This time we’ll be announcing winners in service-related categories. Ballots for retail businesses will be printed in our July issues.

In recent years I’ve been looking for someone to fill my shoes and step in when needed – such as now. My intent was to do more traveling with my wife and leave the production side of things to someone else. So far, no luck.

Over there, in the masthead box on this page, I’ve been announcing my retirement party on July 4, 2025. That means I have three years and a couple of months to find someone who wants this dream job – and it could be you!


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