With a heavy heart, I write these words in honor of Ms. Suzy Beshears as she is laid to rest. For over 30 years, Suzy was the soul of Jane Boyd Community House. She tirelessly served youth and families through after school programming and the various youth sports leagues. If you’ve heard about Jane Boyd Community House, you’ve heard about the robust youth sports programs that once filled the basketball court and the diamonds at Ven Vechten. Suzy single handedly ensured youth had access to sports leagues.
She was a dynamic community organizer with the ability to bring parents, volunteers, and youth together. She believed in everyone’s ability to be great, and could transfer her confidence to them leading to great success. Jorel Robinson remembers this fondly when Suzy asked him to coach some leagues. To her request, he recalled “But Suzy, I’m only 16, I don’t know about this." And she responded in true Suzy fashion, “Jorel, Stop it! What’s there to know? Here’s the schedule for your team, and I’ll stop by practice to check on you." There are countless stories among community members that have the same sentiment – Suzy believes I can do it, so I must be able to.
Through her efforts, she provided access to sports and recreational programming for hundreds of children through out the community. Her impact on the community is immeasurable. As the news of her passing spread through the community, heart warming tributes to Suzy started to fill social media threads and the comment section on her obituary. As I read the tributes to her, it was clear, Suzy impacted hundreds, if not thousands, of kids and families in Cedar Rapids. One particular tribute from Lori Ampey stood out. “Suzy was one of the greatest mentors to impact my life. She was the reason I wanted to have a career in youth development. What I learned from her I still use in my job today. Not only will Suzy be missed, but her legacy will live on in all of those she has mentored and those who continue to follow her footsteps.” The stories and tributes are endless, and all center on her giving and compassionate spirit.
Suzy embodied the Jane Boyd spirit and mission through her years of service. She will be greatly missed by so many. To honor her legacy, Jane Boyd will plant a tree on our property so her spirit can live on for years to come.
- Megan Isenberg, Director of Jane Boyd
Our mission is to enhance the academic, emotional and social wellbeing of children and families in our diverse community with programs focused on developing successful and productive adults.
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