I was the only child of Kelly and Sadie Beaver, born on February 16, 1924-, at Girard, Texas. I arrived several weeks prematurely, and my granny Beaver told me I was so small that they could have fitted my head into a teacup. I was told that Granny, with her make-do experiences, used her cookstove oven for warmth, to put me in when I first arrived. My mom always kidded me that I had become “half-baked” in Granny’s make shift incubator.
Both of my parents were devout members of the Church of Christ, and I was taken to church, every Sunday of my life. My dad was a lover of gospel music, and being blessed with a good soprano and tenor voice, he led singing at church ser vices and sang in quartets. Those were the days of singing conventions, and many Sunday afternoons they would drive for miles to attend one. I was always forced to go along, how I resented that, when, with my friends I might have gone to a movie, a picnic, or just for a drive around town. But now, how I would like to hear the rafters ring with those lovely old songs. Many times Uncle- Rollie, Uncle Clay and Aunt Lee would be there, and then the Beaver quartet was in it’s full glory.
On August 6, 1938, when I was fourteen, and Robert Lee Leverett was eighteen, we two silly kids fibbed about our ages, procured a marriage license, and eloped, leaving family and friends horrified. To the surprise of everyone concerned, those two little kids lived happily together for 36 years until my husband’s death in 1974. He was born at Alexander, Erath County, November 10, 1919.
We were blessed with three healthy, talented children. Kelly Joan, our oldest, was born March 11, 1941, at Lubbock. Then March 8, 1943, along came our first son, Hubbert Lee (Cooky), also born at Lubbock. We moved to Amarillo to be near my mother while my husband, Bob, served in the Marine Corps during WWII.
When Bob returned home, Hubbert Lee was two years old and Bob had never seen him. ‘.”hat a homecoming! Soon Bob became a member of the church and we had a happy little family. We stayed in Texas until 1947, then moved to Manteno. Illinois where some of Bob’s Marine buddies lived. Here, on January 19, 1954, our youngest son, Terry Doyle was born. Bob died with cancer in 1974, and I am still a widow.
Kelly Joan took piano lessons while growing up in Manteno and became an accomplished pianist. She was valedictorian of her senior class, then went to the University of Illinois, where she met her future husband, Robert Bishop, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine. They met at church, and were married in Manteno by the minister of the Church of Christ, A. W. Goff. She was telling her dad, one week end when she came home from the University, about meeting Robert. She said, “Dad, do you know what I noticed first about him – it was the worn Bible he was carrying.” That really warmed the cockles of her dad’s heart. Kelly has a Bachelor Degree in music from Juniata Coll ege in Pennsylvania. They have two children: Danie, born Aug ust 25, 1964, and Devon, born August 15, 1966, both in Altoona, Pennsylvania. They are, at present, students at Penn State.
Hubbert Lee had dreamed of going to the U.S. Military Academy, from the time he was a child. He graduated valedictor ian of his class at Manteno in 1961, and on June 29 that same year, was appointed to West Point. He graduated in 1965, rank ing 6th in his class of 596 graduates. Hubbert Lee has two daughters, and he is at present a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force. A son, James Edward, died in infancy. His daughters, Terri Sue and Tricia Colleen are both in high school.
Terry Doyle was a born “ham” and was blessed with a beautiful baritone voice. He has performed, professionally, since age four, singing with the Red Cross Troopers, and entertaining at the Veterans Hospital. He graduated from Manteno High School, then went four years to Illinois State University, majoring in music theater. He did a concert tour in England with his College Madrigal Singers. He was awarded a scholarship to study voice at the Vienna Academy of Music in Austria. He is currently operating a dinner theater in Pennsylvania with Kelly and Robert.
I worked as a practical nurse in a hospital in Illinois, and as a psychiatric aide in the Illinois State Hospital. I had left high school in my sophomore year, but through my employment with the Department of Mental Health Inservice Ed ucation I was able to finish school and acquire 20 hours of college credits.
I moved to Pennsylvania two years ago, to be near the children. I had surgery for endometrial uterine cancer in 1973, and for breast cancer in 1984, a malady characteristic of the Beavers. I have much to be thankful for, my greatest blessing was when God gave me Kelly and Sadie Beaver for parents.
I am taking the liberty of inserting here, a poem by Daisy Hard, about the M.E.Beaver family, April 1976.
A TRIBUTE TO THE BEAVER FAMILY I often think about those days That live within my heart. ’’Tomorrow we go to Girard", said Dad. Let's get an early start. Oh, how I loved that minute when We crossed that last small rill. And then I'd see that yellow house That stood uoon the hill. Can't you close your eyes right now And plainly see it all? Even the chickens in the yard. Old J.T. and Jimmie Hall. The old coal stove, the clock that struck So loudly through the night. That deep good feeling we all had That everything was right. That Beaver clan together, Was such a sight to see. The arguments, love, the songs they sang, Are all such a part of me. We live our lives, not knowing Just how fleeting it can be. All too soon, the joy is gone Except in memory. Today, I had a letter That brought a sad, sad tear. It said that Aunt Lee's dear sweet Don Is now, no longer here. Then I started thinking back, I heard dad, within my heart Say, "Soon you'll be coming too my dear, So get an early start." So plainly, now, I see them all. They're standing there in wait. There's Rollie, Donie, Mom and Dad, Just inside the gate. There are two babies on my Bob's lap. And it's such a joy to know, He holds little Pat, and our grandson We lost seven years ago. There's my Granny, Grandpa, Uncle Clay. My, how their faces glow. And with arms outstretched to welcome me Are Aunt Sis and Uncle Joe. I can see Aretta plainly, now, Hub, Mark and Nadine too. They say, "Daisy, come on in. We've been awaiting you. And then their voices raised in song, And what a glorious thing For all the angels stopped their songs To hear the Beavers sing!