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City Honors Bettelu Beverly, 'Matriarch' of Manhattan Beach

May 06, 2023 09:30AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Composite image via city of Manhattan Beach and Neptunian Woman's Club; Bettelu Beverly is in the center.

The Manhattan Beach City Council this week honored longtime resident Bettelu Beverly by adjourning its meeting in her honor.

Beverly, a longtime Manhattan Beach resident who led three generations of the Beverly family, passed away last month just a week before her 98th birthday.

"She was a true matriarch here in Manhattan Beach whose reach went well beyond the Beverly family," said Councilmember Steve Napolitano at the meeting. 

Beverly was the husband of Robert "Bob" Beverly, former Manhattan Beach mayor, state assemblymember and state senator; and mother to Barbara, Bill, Bob Jr.(owner of Shellback Tavern), and Brian Beverly; and "G-Ma" to 10 grandchildren.

"She loved meeting new people and always found the good in everyone," wrote her son Bob in a tribute. "She rarely talked about herself and never talked behind people’s backs. Instead she bragged about the successes of whoever was not in the conversation, and was particularly proud of her grandchildren and their many accomplishments."

A Long and Happy Life in Manhattan Beach

Elizabeth Louise "Bettelu" Wiesel was born on April 17, 1925 in Pittsburgh, PA. She was raised in Mount Lebanon, where she attended elementary school and high school. Her father was the organist and choir director at Second Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh.

She met Robert Graham Beverly, a former high school tennis partner of her oldest brother James, while he was in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton.

"There have been more than a few stories how it all happened but the last one was that they ran into each other walking down Wilshire Blvd. in West L.A. and he invited her out for a drink," according to Bob Jr. "Dad was only 20 so he had to fake a call pretending he was his own Marine Corps sergeant to vouch that he was 21."

Bettelu and Bob Sr. married in 1946. They purchased their first home in Manhattan Beach in 1951 on 31st St. in the Tree Section. In the late 1950's they moved to 27th and Alma, and in 1962 they purchased their final residence at 27th and Highland. 

Bettelu was one of the Neptunian Woman's Club's longest-serving members, having joined in 1960. She also owned the former Lemon Tree gift shop at 12th and Highland Ave. along with her close friends Pat Keene, Kathy Fels and Jean Coulston.

Bob Jr. noted that over the years she worked very hard in her husband's successful political campaigns for Manhattan Beach City Council (1958), State Assembly (1966) and State Senate (1976).  She also served on the Commission of the Californias, establishing working relationships between California and Baja California Mexico.

In her spare time, she played piano, created mosaics, loved travel, and collected folk art. 

Last summer, she was able to fulfill a dream of many years when she returned to Pittsburgh to see and hear the organ that her father had played back in the 1920s, and to attend services at his church.

She passed away on April 11, 2023, just one week shy of her 98th birthday. She was laid to rest alongside her beloved Bob, to whom she had been married for 63 years.

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