Beverly Jahn

Jahn, Beverly (Faber)
was born at home with the local doctor present in Earlville, Illinois on a cold February 1st in 1927. She was several weeks premature and was not breathing. The doctor took a big puff of smoke from the cigar that he had been smoking during the entire delivery, and he gently blew the smoke into her lungs. Beverly coughed and started breathing. The doctor went to his car to get a large cigar box. He wrapped Beverly in a tiny blanket, laid her in the cigar box, and placed them in the oven to stay warm. This was the beginning of a great life -- full of love and adventure. Beverly's parents were Ruth and Leon Faber. When Beverly was young, her father worked as a lineman for the local power company, and her mother operated the telephone switchboard for their small town. Beverly grew into a well-loved tomboy with a great affection for animals. She had no fear of snakes, frogs or any living creature. She believed all animals had souls and feelings, and they were not able to control their life situations because of the humans around them. She had great sympathy for all animals. She carried this affection with her for her entire life. She always seemed to own two or three pets at a time. She especially loved her dogs and desert tortoises. Beverly could be quite stubborn and fearless as a young girl. When she misbehaved, her mother would make her sit in a dark closest until she apologized for her transgression. When there was a long period without a sound, as was usually the case, her mother would become so worried that she would peek in the closet. She would see the most darling little girl -- with a very stubborn expression -- staring back at her. Her mother would nearly always give into Beverly (and the sweetly stubborn face) before an apology was given. Beverly's parents moved to Sandwich, IL when she was a young girl. Throughout high school, she was popular and loved boys. She was very socially active. The main entertainment for kids in her small town was roller-skating, and Sandwich had the largest rink in Northern Illinois. Beverly was known for her stellar roller skating skills. She perfected the art of being spun in a circle while a boy held one of her arms and one leg, as she carefully lit a match on the floor that she held between her teeth. Beverly attended college briefly, but she returned to Sandwich to marry a very handsome Karl Jahn. He was a decorated marine just back from combat on Peleliu and Okinawa. Karl was a very patient and easy-going man. The union between Beverly and Karl lasted more than 50 years! Beverly loved cars and owned many of the best Detroit styles ever produced. She never kept a car for more than a couple of years. When she was young, she loved to wash her car on the front lawn while wearing her bikini. Many of the men in her small town looked forward to her car washing days. Whenever Beverly said, "the gas tank is empty and the car needs new tires," we all knew this meant a new car was in her future. At the time of her passing, she owned a Cadillac, a Mercedes convertible, and a conversion van. The last months of her life were extremely difficult because she was unable to drive. Beverly also owned many boats during her life, and during her younger days, she loved to water-ski. Beverly took a job in her twenties at a local electronics company and rose through the ranks to eventually become a vice president. She had a real skill for organizing production and working with people. She was fearless and would stand up to anyone. She was 5 feet 2 inches tall which included 3 inches of high heels. She said what she thought, and she knew when she was right. People who were effective and competent loved her. Beverly always laughed at others' jokes, and her friends knew she would do anything for them. Beverly was very smart and well organized. She cared about outcomes and did everything in her power to make good things happen. Beverly moved to Arizona in 1960 to be close to her mother and father who had retired there. In Arizona, she continued to work, along with her husband, for a company they had founded which served the printed circuit board industry. Her husband was the salesman while Beverly managed the warehouse and office. Their business grew to be a great success. Beverly loved to entertain and was a fabulous cook. She was always organizing and hosting dinners and large parties in an effort to bring people together. Beverly's mother and father were blessed with longer and fuller lives because of all the joy and energy Beverly brought to them. In Arizona, Beverly lived five minutes from her parents' home. As they aged, Ruth died at 84 and Leon at 97, Beverly took good care of them. She would visit their home several times everyday with food and kind words. She was the type of daughter that all parents hope to have as they age. Not only was she a loving and kind caregiver to both her parents but to her husband as well. She was such an incredible friend to all. She would have done anything for them. Beverly was very fashion forward. She would read up on the latest styles and trends and would dress accordingly. She was always well put together, and it was only in her later years that she chose to wear predominantly black. High heels, elegant hats, and sparkly jewels were always significant additions to her chic ensembles. Beverly's husband and her parents passed away in the 1990s, and it was after their passing that Beverly began to travel more extensively. She visited Egypt, Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, China, Australia, Alaska, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Europe many, many times. Most of Beverly's world travels occurred during her seventies and eighties. She feared little even when traveling to unfamiliar and remote places. A notable exception was a one-time close encounter with a hippo that she met one night while walking alone in Botswana. Even when living alone in her later years, Beverly often forgot to lock her doors at night. Beverly had such poise and self-assurance that she moved through life with such ease and elegance. She made friends everywhere and was willing to talk to anyone. Whether she was at a ballgame or sitting in an airport, she would strike up a conversation with any stranger. Before long, she would have an instant friend with whom she laughed as if she had known them forever. Many of her life-long friendships began this way. Beverly's door was always open to her friends. Her friends learned there was no need to knock but to shout to locate Beverly as they let themselves in. Often her friends would find Beverly hard at work on her business or another project. She had a strong work ethic and took great pride in giving everything her best. Up until her final days, she (single-handedly) managed a multi-tenant warehouse that her family owned. In Beverly's eyes, her family always came first and could do no wrong. Her nephews were always easily forgiven no matter what antic they pulled. There was never a doubt about how much Beverly loved them. Beverly Jahn was a remarkable woman. She had a life full of love and adventure. A celebration of her life will be held on Sunday, June 23, 2013, in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

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Published in The Arizona Republic on June 12, 2013