Thursday, May 17, 2018

RIP Beverly Bronson

[Image courtesy of House with Heart]

Beverly Bronson, a longtime East Village resident who owned the antiques shop A Repeat Performance, died on Sunday of cancer. She was 70.

The news came via House with Heart, the charity that Bronson founded in 2001 to aid impoverished children and women in Nepal.

Here's part of the message from House with Heart:

It is with heavy hearts we share the sad news that our beloved founder, Beverly Bronson, has died from cancer. She passed peacefully today on Mother's Day in Naples, Florida, at the home of her daughter, surrounded by her loving family and friends.

Beverly lived an extraordinary life. From her early life in England to the decades she spent living in New York’s East Village to her work in Nepal, Beverly opened her heart to those in need. She walked and acted in kindness, compassion, selflessness, and most definitely, with determination.

Her bright spirit lives on in the lives of all she touched, including those of us who worked with her closely as directors of the House with Heart board. That spirit will guide us as we continue her work on behalf of the children and women in Nepal.

We send our deepest condolences to Beverly’s daughter, Kyla; her son-in-law, Matt; her grandchildren, Kyle, Hannah, and Ava; her partner, Mike Ogletree; and, of course, to the children and staff of House with Heart.

Bronson, a London native, moved to New York City in the early 1970s and worked in publishing and in the theater before opening A Repeat Performance in 1980. After five years on St. Mark's Place, the shop, offering a range of unique antiques and unusual items, moved to its present location at 156 First Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street.

She first came to Nepal in 1999 to volunteer as a social worker. In 2001, she found two young boys whose mother had abandoned them. The boys became the first two members of House with Heart.

In recent years Bronson had spent a good deal of her time in Nepal. Here's A Repeat Performance co-owner Sharon Jane Smith talking about Bronson in an Out and About in the East Village feature from 2015:

Beverly has branched out into a home in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she is on her way to now to do renovations and hunker down for the monsoon season. It’s the place that had the earthquake. The house is still standing and the kids are camped out in the yard, waiting for the house to be retrofitted. She’s there to offer support and she doesn’t even like to camp, but she’s camping out in the monsoon. God bless her.

A memorial service will be held in the coming months to celebrate Bronson's life, according to House with Heart board members.


Anonymous said...

So so terrible.
She was sooooo nice, friendly and kind - and did so much good.

Anonymous said...

RIP. As an aside, why do people in NYC start overseas charities when they are plenty of destitute folks right here?

Anonymous said...

Beverly will be missed. One of the people who made a difference in the world with her love.

Anonymous said...

RIP. As an aside, why do people feel the need to always air their inner thoughts? Keep 'em inner in situations like these.

Anonymous said...

She was a very beautiful woman and will be dearly missed here in the East Village. RIP Beverly.

Esther O'Mahoney said...

Such a lovely person. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her x

sophocles said...

11:20 am:to some people it is one world?

Trixie said...

@anonymous 11:20 There’s room in this world for all kinds of charity. Perhaps you’d care to share yours with us here. And who knows, we might want to contribute to it.

anonymous said...

a beautiful person, friend . She will be missed.

Anonymous said...

In the mid-90's, I was a member of the Experimental Theater Project, aka, the W.O.W. Cafe. At that time, Beverley and Sharon Jane Smith were our "older-siblings" in our space on East Fourth. In addition to many other hats I wore, I played the electric guitar in the house band/quartet, "Hunted Girls". She who was, Beverly "B-flat" Bronson, was a lighthouse for those of us who were row-row-rowing our art and our butch boats along the East Village theater-playground, streets where troubled waters often flowed. When my corporate employer put me out on the street because I had a depressive episode due to loss of my brother to HIV-related illness, Beverly kept me from starving by giving me opportunity to work a few hours at Repeat Performance and to babysit her very young grandson, Kyle. I knew she had embarked on a journey to help others in far away lands, however, I didn't know she had left the planet, until today. I always admired her courage and her generosity. Sending Loving Light to her family and friends*** M. Bell