We are deeply saddened with the passing of Elizabeth "Kris" Beal, a truly remarkable former "first lady" of the State University of Fredonia.
Mrs. Beal was deeply devoted to her husband, the late Dallas K. Beal, who served as the 10th president of the university. Indeed, Kris was deeply devoted to her family; she loved them dearly. Truly, the State University at Fredonia had a special place in her heart; she cherished this university and the university cherished her.
Mrs. Beal was a treasured "human jewel" of this community, the University, and of humanity in general. Kris was beloved by all who knew her - students, faculty and staff, parents, citizens, and by those who may not have known her personally, but who richly benefited from her caring and genuinely loving spirit. She was a woman of great human generosity who always thought of others first. Kris was just that kind of person.
Mrs. Beal was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She was a superb educator, a highly skilled guidance counselor, a most gracious first lady, and a highly respected and beloved citizen of this community and the totality of all in education.
Kris was a highly talented and accomplished watercolorist, a gifted musician, a marvelous homemaker and hostess, and was always there with a generous heart - at just the right time and place. Through the years, Kris was beloved by hundreds of the University students, who knew and respected her as truly a genuinely kind and thoughtful person. Often, she provided a listening ear and receptive heart for those studentswho were away from home for the first timeand, who needed her special kind of gentle and loving support.
Kris also provided the same kind of reassuring hospitality and warmth for faculty, staff, and all associated with the University and the community. Kris was just that kind of compassionate, thoughtful, and gentle person.
Indeed, Mrs. Beal will be greatly and genuinely missed. But most of all, her generosity, graciousness, sincerity, thoughtfulness, and kindness, will last within the hearts of those who knew her, from generation to generation.
That is her legacy which will never be forgotten. This is the Kris we all knew; a very special and loving person, the memory of which will last in the hearts of all of us ... and we will not forget.
Robert Heichberger, a former executive assistant to Dr. Dallas Beal at Fredonia State University, is a biweekly columnist in the OBSERVER. He resides in Gowanda.