Beverly Marcia Haddad
July 16, 1936 – March 19, 2022
Beverly Marcia Haddad, age 85, passed away in her sleep on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Known warmly as “Bev,” she was a force of nature. From her love of hot dogs, chocolate, and In-N-Out, to her fierce compassion when working with children, Bev’s spirit was a light to everyone who met her. She had a fighting spirit, was an advocate for her political beliefs, had an irreverent sense of humor and used colorful and often inappropriate language. She was born July 16, 1936, to Irving and Beatrice Wolfson in the Bronx, NY (never Brooklyn), where along with her sister Ellen, she spent most of her youth. After high school, Bev moved to North Adams, MA to attend North Adams State Teachers College (now Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts). While attending college in the mid-late 1950s, Bev met and married Edward John Haddad and in 1957 the two welcomed their son, Bob. To Ed’s large first-generation immigrant family, Bev was a revelation, often upsetting the social norms regarding the role of women that were so prevalent. In this, she was an inspiration to the younger generations with whom she remained connected throughout her life. Following her graduation in 1958 and after teaching for a year in New England, Bev and Ed - at the urgings of her college classmates, fellow teachers, and lifelong friends, Nancy Stewart and Jean Talledge - left their families behind and adventured to California to teach elementary school in Santa Maria, CA. In 1962 Bev and Ed welcomed their daughter, Barbra to their growing family.
Following Barbra’s birth, Bev and the family moved to Ventura where Bev taught for a year in Oxnard, CA and then, in 1964 to Simi Valley, CA where they built a home and a community in which she lived for the rest of her life. In the mid/late 1960s, Bev’s sister, Ellen, and her young family also moved to California. For the next 50+ years, the two families were closely intertwined, supporting each other through good times and bad. Ed and Bev were actively involved with the two families' many school and extracurricular activities, and they loved celebrating birthdays and holidays with family gatherings (pool parties, ice cream cakes). Ed and Bev enjoyed traveling, both domestically and internationally, and treasured memories of their experiences sailing throughout the Caribbean with Ellen and traveling through China, Europe, and Mexico. Bev traveled into her 80s, finding peace in the sunflower fields of the Italian countryside, and joy in spending time with her family in Cabo San Lucas.
Bev’s heart was in her career as a teacher. She was a teacher’s teacher, taking pleasure in her students’ educational growth. She excelled at mixing academic and artistic activities. For 40 years, she taught generations of 1st graders who attended Weathersfield Elementary School in Thousand Oaks, CA. Many of her former students kept in touch with Bev as they grew their own families, and some even chose to have their own children in Bev’s class at Weathersfield. In parallel to her commitment to teaching children, Bev was also committed to supporting teachers. She was a tough-as-nails negotiator for the Unified Association of Conejo Teachers, constantly fighting for better conditions and opportunities for students and teachers. She humorously recalled making the point that they could either give teachers bathroom breaks or buy them Depends - highlighting the unrealistic expectations that were set for teachers. Throughout her life she was committed to her local community and to political engagement through her vocal and active support of local issues, school events, and state and federal political actions.
Beverly is predeceased by Ed, her husband of nearly 50 years, and her daughter Barbra. She leaves her son Bob and his wife Cathy, grandson Benjamin Joshua (B.J.) Haddad and his wife Heidi Nichols Haddad, granddaughter Casey Jennifer Dawson and her husband Jeremy Todd Dawson, and three great grandchildren, Kaleb Haddad Dawson, Naomi Nichols Haddad, and Caroline Nichols Haddad. She also leaves her sister, Ellen Lee and her niece and nephew, Rosemary Boncich and Bob Lee, and their families.
As the family’s matriarch, Bev always displayed unconditional love and support to her family—especially her great-grandchildren and her great-grandniece and nephew. She was a fierce and loyal friend, often going out of her way to help those who were in need. Her compassion and tenacious spirit were matched only by her extraordinary stamina with a shopping cart. She will be greatly missed, though her spirit lives on through those she loved.
A Celebration of Life will be held on April 30, 2022, at 10 am in the Chapel at the Reardon Simi Valley Funeral Home, 2636 Sycamore Dr., Simi Valley, CA. Reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you make a memorial donation to Bev’s favorite charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (