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Holly Beye

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Holly Beye WOODSTOCK - Holly Beye, 88, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011 at Ten Broeck Commons; where she has resided since Nov. 2004. Holly was born Feb. 27, 1922, in Iowa City, Iowa. She was the daughter of the late Howard and Ruth Kethcam Bee, and had called Woodstock her home since 1955. Ms. Beye was a graduate of Swarthmore College Magna Cum Laude, Class of 1943. She moved to New York City and became a reporter at PM, the left wing newspaper started by Marshall Field, although her intent was to write fiction, poetry and drama. In 1946, she married David Ruff and they lived at 120 Charles Street in Greenwhich Village, which became the title of her published journal of the life of a struggling artist in the 40's, published in 2006. In 1951 they moved to San Francisco, Calif. and became part of the "Beat Movement", which took shape at the time. Her early books of poetry were published there as well. In Woodstock, she saw a shift to dramatic work. Her plays appeared at the Woodstock Playhouse "Afternoon of the Spawn" 1961, La Galleria at Cafe La Mama in NYC "Clean" 1995, the Vandam Theatre in NYC "It's All Yours" 1963 and the Playhouse in San Francisco "The White Angel" 1965. At the same time she created a satire performing improv ensemble, initially called "Holly's COmets" Which enjoyed local and regional success and even went on tour a couple of times. It proved an outlet for a number of retired people to expression to their lives. In 1967 she received a graduate degree in library science from SUNY Albanyand became the librarian at the Woodstock Elementary School, engaging children to enjoy the written word. Ms. Beye worked tirelessly in the sixties for the Civil Rights movements, helping to organize protest and pickets in Kingston and throughout the area. She was predeceased by her former husband David Ruff, her longtime companion, David Collyer and a sister Ruth Shank. Surviving are two brothers; Charles Beye of Cambridge, Mass. and Cyrus Beye of N.D., two sisters; Barbara Lorie of Pittsboro, N.C., and Jane Boyd of San Diego, Calif. as well as nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be announced later in the summer by Lasher Funeral Home, Inc., 100 Tinker Street, Woodstock. Burial will be in the Artist Cemetery.

Published in Daily Freeman on Jan. 9, 2011
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