Long Beach civic leader Sheriden Ann Gilbert Beebe, 87, passed away peacefully on July 27 in the presence of her loving family.
Sheri was born in Los Angeles to William Isaac Gilbert and Margaret Harriman Gilbert. Her father and his father led a leading law firm in downtown Los Angeles. Her mother, Margaret, had strong ties to Long Beach; Margaret’s father, Dr. Tim Harriman, moved here from Iowa in the late 1800’s and was an early investor in Long Beach and Signal Hill real estate. Sheri’s parents divorced when she was young and she and her younger sister attended private schools in the Los Angeles area. She graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1954 and from Stanford University in 1958. She fell in love with fellow Stanford student Selden Beebe -- better known today as Dr. Selden Beebe, Long Beach’s fabled “kids’ doctor” -- after asking him to be her date for a winter formal dance on campus. Accompanied by 32 family members and friends, Sheri and Sel wed in Las Vegas in 1958 then drove to Boston where Sel earned a medical degree.
In 1962, degree in hand, they returned to Long Beach where he completed internship and residency and in 1968 opened a pediatric practice. (Sheri served as office “general manager” for many years). In that same year, they bought their home at 3205 E. 1st Street where they spent 44 memorable years. They had a beautiful, legendary home that was filled with warmth, friends, family entertainment and love.
Sheri passed away two weeks shy of their 65th anniversary, six and a half decades of love, family, travel and community service. In the hearts of her children and grandchildren, Sheri was “the planet’s greatest mom and grandma.” Her countless friends felt the same. The Beebes were incurable travelers who visited 20 different countries -- from Austria, to Tibet and Turkey. Paris and Vienna were Sheri’s favorite cities but her destination of preference was Kauai, Hawaii, where the family enjoyed years of vacations.
A classic matriarch, Sheri was always there for people in need. Hers was the proverbial shoulder to lean on, the giver of succor to those in distress. And she was a leader. Family members would joke that whatever organization Sheri joined, she was certain to become president. Examples were the Fine Art Affiliates at California State University Long Beach, Long Beach Day Nursery, (which her grandmother, Nancy M. Harriman, had helped guide decades earlier), the Long Beach Symphony, Long Beach Museum of Art, the Long Beach Opera, Opera Ring, Rancho Los Cerritos, the CSULB Museum of Art, and the Old Ranch Country Club Women’s Golf Club. Her energy and infectious laugh will be forever remembered in these and other activities in which Sheri was involved.
In younger years Sheri loved to swim and play volleyball. Many winters were spent skiing at Snowmass, Mammoth, and the Alps. She and her husband Sel went on several very special and memorable backpacking treks beginning with India in 1976 and continuing into the 1980’s and 90’s to Tibet and Nepal.
Later in life she devoted her time to golf and nurturing lasting friendships at Old Ranch Country Club. An inveterate reader, she was a member of several book clubs. Thursdays were special because mail brought the New Yorker Magazine, which she would devour. Family, art, travel and community service were the solid four- legged stool of Sheri’s remarkable life. And love. Lots of love.
Please join the Beebe family Friday, September 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Old Ranch Country Club, Seal Beach, to celebrate Sheri’s beautiful life.