Beverly Reitinger

Term: 2012 to 2014

Photo by Jeannette Michelson

Those who have come to know Bev Reitinger, as a friend or colleague in the Garden Club of Long Beach Island, can see that Bev embodies this saying: “A person’s most useful asset is a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen, and a hand ready to help others. During Bev’s two-year tenure as our President, she provided a guiding and steady hand during one of the island’s s most tumultuous times…Hurricane Sandy.

Nothing more would be expected from a gal who was born and raised in the Dunes section on LBI.  Bev shared that at the time she was ready to be born, there was no hospital in the area.  Bev’s mother, being from North Jersey, had to make the trek to a hospital up north to deliver Bev.  She then recalled her carefree days here on the island attending the LBI Grade School, ice skating on the bay, parties on the beach, and riding the dunes in a jeep that one time landed in the ocean.  Bev described herself as a tomboy who played many sports and participated in the Striped Bass Derby and won.

Bev attended James Madison University in Virginia where she studied Elementary Education and Speech Therapy which was a tribute to her mom who was deaf;  but was able to communicate by lip reading. Bev was the first speech therapist at Southern High School and continued to teach for 34 years.  Along the way, she met and married Carl, her husband of 40 years and who also was a teacher.  Bev shared that this very church where we have our meetings is where she and Carl got married.   After living in Mt. Laurel for a period of time during their marriage, Carl and Bev now live in Brant Beach. Together they raised a son and daughter and now enjoy six grandchildren and their new addition, Sadie, a Golden Retriever.

Though very involved in the Brant Beach Yacht Club, like many people in our club, Bev was looking for a social network and outlet for her creative energies which she found in the club. Being in leadership positions is not new to Bev because even as a young girl, she represented NJ in the Rainbow Girls, a club which reinforced leadership through community service; so, it is no wonder, Bev has held almost every imaginable position in the our club.  Besides president, Bev has been trip coordinator, program chair, designer chair, house tour chair, by- laws participant, safety coordinator, and continuing education to name a few.  However, as President, her leadership skills were tested during Hurricane Sandy. Bev, not only had to deal with so many of our members and friends who were displaced and tragically lost everything; but also had to contend with the cancellation of the house tour after over 1000 tickets were sold.  All those persons had to be called to see if they wanted to donate the money to island reconstruction or have it refunded.  Bev shared that the only bright spot in this disaster was a holiday party put together at the LBI Foundation for our members as a way of bringing everyone together and share as a family.

Other highlights of Bev’s presidency were accepting the Community Greening Award for the Edith Duff Gwinn Gardens by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Bev told how she and Betty Frey went to Harrisburg during a snowstorm to accept the award. She credits her husband, Carl, for getting them there safely. Bev is also especially proud of her work to get our club to sponsor the Blue Star Memorial which pays tribute to our nation’s armed forces. Our plaque is now housed at the Beach Haven Library Gardens for all to see and reflect upon. Along with that, Bev, enjoyed working in the Senior Services Committee and continues to still participate in the Intergenerational Committee projects where seniors and children interact to make floral arrangements.

In closing, as past President and member of the Garden Club of LBI, Bev Reitinger, has devoted much of her time and energies to our club’s projects and goals, as well as, to our members who could always count on her help.  For all she has done, we will ever be grateful to her.