Some sad announcements today. News of the death of two beloved residents of the Eastern Sierra.
Dan Beets, a resident of both Mono and Inyo over the past 25 years or so, died today at his home after a more than two year battle with throat cancer.
Beets was born in Los Angeles in 1943. He grew up in the Watts area of LA where he developed passion and strong advocacy foro people suffering from poverty and racism. He remained a strong voice all of his life for social justice to help those in need. Dan enjoyed using his sharp wit for political commentary on the issues.
Dan vacationed in the Owens Valley as a young man, and re-located here in the early 80s. He loved meteorology and routi9nely provided local weather reports to friends and family for their travel and other plans.
Dan Beets lived in Bishop with his wife Jean for the last eight years. He retired in 2006 from the Inyo Cossunty Public Works Dept. where he was a transportation planner.
Dan Beets is survived by his wife, Jean Dickinson, Step-son, Brannon Dempsey, granddaughter Leah, his brother and sister in law Dave and Nancy Beets and brother don of Portland, the Inyo Rat Pack and many beloved friends.
A celebration of Dan's life will be announced in the future. Donations can be made to the Dan Beets Social Justice Fund or to CaringBridge.org.
And, in Mammoth Lakes today – the sad news about the death of Joe Zwart. Here is the obituary provided by his family:
Joseph Thomas Zwart (Joe)
May 16, 1925 November 17, 2007
Joseph Thomas Zwart Joe, 82, of Mammoth Lakes, California, beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, died on November 17, 2007. Joe died peacefully at Bishop Care Center from heart related issues and was surrounded by family and close friends. Joe was born on May 16, 1925 in Haarlem, Holland to Jansje and Jacob Zwart. Joes survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Bonnie. His children Steve and Janice of Bayfield, Colorado; Marty and Terri of El Centro, California. His grandchildren Jason and Megan, Daniel, Eric and Haleigh. His great-granchildren Michael, Mariya, Jacey and Jack. Joes survived by two sisters, Marie Combs and Betsy Duggan. Joe was preceded in death by his parents Jansje and Jacob Zwart, his brothers, Bill, Ted, Jack Zwart and a sister Johanna (Joey) Pleiser. Joe grew up in Los Angeles, California and graduated from Polytechnectic High School on 1943. Joe served proudly and with honor in the United States Navy from 1943-1946. Joe moved to Mammoth Lakes in 1957 and was a fulltime resident until his death. He had a career with Mono County, Mammoth Community Water District and Cablevision where he worked in many capacities. Joe cherished many long lasting friendships with family and friends. Joe was a faithful and devoted member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. Joe also enjoyed spending time fishing and snow skiing. Bonnie, Steve and Marty would like to give special thanks to family and friends for the extraordinary care given to Joe. Funeral mass will be held on Saturday, November 24 10:00 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church and officiated by Father Andy Dachauer, S.J. Please join the family at the Mammoth Community Center for a reception to celebrate Joes life following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations sent to Mammoth Hospital, P.O. Box 1399, Mammoth Lakes, California, 93546 in the name of Joe Zwart.