Beverly Bronson: Nepal charity founder who grew up in Hitchin dies aged 70
PUBLISHED: 11:53 27 May 2018
A former Hitchin girl whose tireless charity work included setting up a home for abandoned children in Nepal has died at the age of 70.
Beverly Bronson, who grew up in Hitchin before emigrating to the United States in 1969, was visiting Kathmandu in 2001 when she found boys aged five and two abandoned in front of a tin hut.
Her sister Georgina said: “Their lives and hers were transformed at that moment as she went on to spend the rest of her life devoted to helping others in desperate need in one of the world’s poorest countries.”
Beverly founded House with Heart, a home for abandoned children in Kathmandu that also gives education to impoverished women and helps needy families.
She was president and chief executive of the charity until her death in Florida on May 13, and leaves a board of directors dedicated to continuing to care for the 30 children to whom, Georgina said, she will always be ‘Beverly Mummy’.
Beverly was born in 1947, the third of four children for Bancroft tailor Bob Bronson and his wife Hannah. She went to Wilshere-Dacre and Hitchin Girls’ schools, and was known alongside her siblings Georgina, Sydney and Andrew as members of showband the Accordion Keynotes, which raised thousands of pounds for good causes.
After leaving school, Beverly started a writing career on the editorial desk of London-based trade magazine Tailor & Cutter.
After moving to New York in 1969, she was an editor for theatre producer Joseph Papp, assistant press agent for bandleader Guy Lombardo and production editor for Skiing magazine.
Beverly, who was a self-taught artist, also entered the theatrical world – working on set design, costuming and writing, as well as treading the boards herself. In 1981 she opened A Repeat Performance, an antique store in New York’s Lower East Side that is now run by her business partner Sharon Jane Smith.
Beverly was summed up by her sister Georgina as “a tireless community builder, offering assistance to the homeless and anyone in need of help”.
She is survived by her daughter Kyla, son-in-law Matt Rodgers, grandchildren Kyle, Hannah and Ava, and partner Michael Ogletree.
Georgina said a memorial service in celebration of her life is planned in New York, with details to be announced. Donations can be made in her memory to House with Heart at housewithheart.org.