Niles Rotary Club member Beth Booth passed on Sunday morning, May 28, 2017. Beth had joined Niles Rotary in 2007 with the classification “Art, Dealer” (Beth’s late husband Hal was a well known artist in the area). Hal was known for doing art reflecting local scenery and many of his art pieces included the famous Mission Peak. Beth was a Rotary pioneer, having been the first woman admitted as a member by the Rotary Club of Hayward where she had worked as an adult education teacher.
We want to thank Mary Lynn Pelican, who went out of her way month after month to bring Beth to the club in her final years when she felt well enough to attend.
The following message was presented by Mary Lynn Pelican at Beth’s memorial service on June 24, 2017:
“I, Mary Lynn Pelican, had the delightful pleasure of getting to know Beth in 2006 when she joined American Association of University Women during my presidency and we became best friends forever immediately! In 2007 Beth helped me get hostesses for our AAUW’s First Friday Socials.
Both of us had previously been invited to be Rick Hood’s guests for lunch at the Rotary Club of Niles (Fremont). She told me that she was the first women to join the Rotary Club of Hayward in 1987 (a men’s service organization) and was so proud to be a Rotarian. Beth always enjoyed sharing they story that when she joined Hayward Rotary, there were several men that were not on board with allowing women to join – even after the big lawsuit with Rotary International that allowed it. Then the local sheriff, literally took to the stage and told the membership that if anyone had a problem with her joining Hayward Rotary, they would need to deal with him personally. And that was that – Beth was the first woman member of Hayward Rotary.
At one of AAUW’s First Friday Socials, Membership Chair Rick Hood gave her a membership application to join Niles Rotary, and she told me she knew all the answers on the application. I told her that if she knew all the answers, then I’m sure I would know all the answers, so I asked the hostess to make me a copy of the Membership Application; as a result we joined Niles Rotary on August 8, 2007.
I also had the pleasure of getting to know her better by being her roommate at two International Conventions.
Beth & I for the past 5 years attended the Annual Senior Night Out dinner at the Doubletree Hilton sponsored by the Tri-City Health Organization, and I have enjoyed being her advocate and support in driving her to the weekly Rotary meetings when she had stopped driving.
Beth & I enjoyed each others company and our shared positive energy, enthusiasm, helpfulness, service above self, friendship, and capturing our weekly meetings by taking photographs and posting them on Facebook.
She wanted so much to do something to thank me for the rides. I told her that her best gift to me was knowing her and being her friend. I know she’s at peace living out her final performance with her Heavenly Father, her loving husband Hal, son-in-law, and other loved ones. Beth, I loved your positive spirit and for being so transparent. Thank you for being my favorite cheerleader!
With my deepest sympathy to family and friends,
Mary Lynn Pelican
The Ambassador of FUN “
Niles Rotary Club Member
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