News that Jack died swept over me like a wave - I didnít know I thought of him as a member of that group I think is invincible - a person with whom I have a shared history, and who, if not in my day-to-day life, is at least always available for a visit, a cup of coffee, a chance just to check in and be reassured that though time passes and lives change, we had an effect on each other.
My experience with Jack as a teacher cannot be separated from the time period that I was at Granada. The late sixties was a time of turmoil and great hope in the world and in myself. Jack is a part of the feeling memory of that time period for me.
I felt valued and respected by my teachers. I felt their enthusiasm and faith. It was synergistic - energies mixing, mingling, and bouncing off of each other to create human connections.
What I think Jack specifically gave to me was the encouragement to push the limits of my cultural experience to find another way of looking at an issue or an event. That has proven to be a valuable tool for me as I have tried to live by my values in a complex world.
I donít really know when I stopped calling him Mr. Beery and started calling him Jack. Thatís a significant moment, for he lost some of the mystique I had built up around him and became the complex person, that of course he was.
Iím not sure that I ever really stopped being a student to him. There were occasions when I would come away from a conversation with him wishing I had said, ďLook, Jack, Iím not seventeen anymore.Ē
Well, Jack, when I heard you had died I felt as fragile and vulnerable as the seventeen-year-old girl who left here years ago. Your efforts as a teacher and a caring person have not gone unnoticed.
---Eulogy delivered at Mr Beery's memorial service by Karen Hogan
This page is part of the Livermore Teachers Memorial. If you have pictures or memories of Mr Beery that you would like to share, please write to the webmaster or post them in the "In Memory" folder of the Livermore High Alumni Forum or the Granada High Alumni Forum.