Feb. 22, 2011
BOSTON — WGBH joins our community in mourning the loss of Aloyce Beth DuVal Deare, the former producer (1978-1988) of Say Brother (now Basic Black) and numerous WGBH documentaries. She died February 21 in a fire at her home in Newton.
Beth’s talents earned her 13 Emmys and a Peabody Award during her tenure at WGBH—among them, an Emmy for In the Matter of Levi Heart, a documentary about a Boston Police shooting. Her credits include Beacon to Freedom: Black Life in the Bay Colony, which she finished in 2008 while undergoing treatment for throat cancer, and American Experience’s Midnight Ramble, a 1994 film about the history of black filmmaking.
Beth, who was battling brain cancer at the time of her death, taught in the English department at Bunker Hill Community College.
Her family issued this statement: “We take comfort in knowing that the cancer she fought for more than five years will no longer consume her and that her vast family and extended family–including students, and friends around the world–will keep her in love and prayer.”
“WGBH is saddened by this loss,” says WGBH Vice President for Communications and Government Relations Jeanne Hopkins. “Beth was a very talented producer and someone who helped connect WGBH with others in the community.”
Tributes have been pouring in from Beth’s friends and colleagues. We invite you to add your remembrances below, in the comments section. The DuVal family sent WGBH this statement:
The family of Beth Deare is devastated by the news of our loved one's passing. We were informed early Monday morning that our sister’s residence was engulfed in flames and shortly thereafter learned that our fears were realized. The police confirmed that we lost our dear one in the tragic fire.
We will spend this time remembering that Beth’s life was full with incredible highs, ranging from her loving daughter and three grandchildren to her many awards and accolades for her acclaimed work in television and film, including 13 Emmys and a Peabody.
We take comfort in knowing that the cancer she fought so valiantly for more than five years will no longer consume her and that her vast family and extended family — including students, and friends around the world — will keep her in love and prayer.
We thank everyone for all the love and condolences already coming in from as far as the African continent. A "Celebration of Life" is being planned for Beth on Saturday, March 26, 2011, and a memorial fund is being established in her honor. A portion of the proceeds from that fund will help the other families impacted by the fire to rebuild. She loved them dearly and with your help we can honor them in her name.
Lynn DuVal Luse and John Aki DuVal, Beth's loving siblings
Share your thoughts about Beth DuVal Deare, who lost her life February 21 in house fire in Newton, MA, after an award-winning WGBH career in filmmaking and 15 years as a passionate, engaging English professor at Bunker Hill Community College.
LISTEN: WGBH'S CALLIE CROSSLEY REMEMBERS BETH DEARE
Roger commented on 03.13.11
I first knew Beth Deare through her work on "Say, Brother" which I admired when it aired. I did not know she was the producer until I personally met her, after Mr. Allan Rohan Crite's passing. I knew she came through for Jackie Cox-Crite, when she catered the reception held in the Boston Public Library after Mr. Crite's funeral was held in Trinity Church, in September 2007. I helped Beth get to her appointments after she was diagnosed with the spread of her cancer to her brain. She never complained, but went straight to her treatments with an attitude of hope and was forward looking, Beth was determined to beat this thing. She was used to overcoming great obstacles; successful, but humble. She was loved her students and loved by them! I knew Beth to be a feisty, loving person, who greeted every day with a smile. I admired her grit, and we grew very fond of each other. She is very greatly missed by those of us who were fortunate enough to have known her. Beth had a fierce love of life! Roger Sheppard
Babanina commented on 03.01.11
God Bless our Beth Deare, what an awesome woman, with so much love and nurturance, I remember how she would sponsor WEATOC Youth Retreat on Martha's Vineyard during the summer. The world is missing one of its favorite sun daughters and heaven has just received another angel! You will surely be missed and never forgotten! Babanina James, WEATOC Veteran (class of 1980)
Maryan commented on 02.27.11
My heart goes out to Beth Deare's family and friends at this time. As a Newton neighbor, I watched this horrific scene. It is hard to put to words how saddened I am. I am so touched to read her tributes. My deepest sympathies.