Jay Beeler

Family. At this point in time no other word speaks louder or clearer.

The word “Family” was prominently on the frame of a photo taken a few years ago – received as a Christmas present from our son. It showed our three adult children – Jeff, Janet and Mindy – me and my wife, Anita, and is prominently displayed in our home living room.

On Sunday we celebrated Anita’s life at The Grand with several dozen family members, friends and neighbors. My sister from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, Margaret, and brother, Tom, from Anacortes, Washington, were in attendance. They too recently lost a spouse, assuring me that the pain and tears will slowly subside, and life will go on.

As family members far and near gathered at our home for evening meals they were already planning a girls retreat in New Orleans next April. The boys will undoubtedly do the same – destination unknown.

There is a huge void in our home without Anita there. But our children and their children and even Molly, our aging dog, will bring laughter and purpose to our lives going forward. That’s the beauty of having family, supported by a broader group of friends and neighbors who all loved Anita.

I want to again thank everyone for the hundreds of condolence messages that we received. All were sincerely appreciated and will be treasured for years to come. You can see a tribute video to Anita that was created specifically for the celebration of life at


On the day of her passing on Sunday, March 20, I brought our children together to reassure them that nothing will change in our daily lives, including the family businesses. It will probably take several months to sort through my wife’s collection of stuff, including correspondence, recipes, receipts, important documents, photos, prized possessions, etc.

That includes a few hundred of her hand-crafted afghans, sweaters, baby blankets and Christmas stockings. Perhaps we’ll offer them for sale via this newspaper and online, with proceeds going to a charity in her name.

We accumulated many things in our 53 years of marriage, but our family was and is the most prized possession.

I am looking forward to the completion of the proposed Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Anaheim Hills. It’s a 260-acre site at Gypsum Canyon, near the 91 Freeway and 241 toll road. There, I plan to have my ashes placed in a niche wall – along with my wife’s – for eternity.


Finally my apologies for the delay in announcing the Best of Long Beach winners for this year. The last few weeks have been hectic. Normally we’d announce the prize winners in this issue, but that will have to wait until the May 20 issue to allow time for the drawing and mailing.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


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