Meryl Hershey Beck, M.Ed. peacefully made her transition on December 25, 2021, surrounded by family and loved ones. Born to Robert “Bob” Hershey and May Hershey (nee Wohl) in Columbia, SC. on Jan. 4, 1946, Meryl was 75 years young.
Nicknamed the “Ambassador of Joy” by friends and family, the license plate on Meryl’s car has been “JOYFUL” for the past 25 years. Meryl faced many storms in her life and not only thrived through these storms but chose to reach out to others and support them through theirs.
As a Master Teacher and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (retired), Meryl spent much of her life helping others integrate their losses. She frequently spoke at conferences, workshops, and trainings. However, it wasn’t until her cherished 35-year-old son Jonathan took his own life in 2011 that she truly understood intense and deep bereavement. As Meryl moved through her own grief, she made a conscious decision to share the incredible happiness her son brought her by living as full and rich a life as possible. In her own words: she chose joy!
In 1968, at Ohio University, Meryl earned her A.B. in English, Math and Education. She taught high school math and English before continuing on to earn her M.A. in Reading and Education in 1974 from John Carroll University. In 1990 Meryl earned her Masters in Counseling also from John Carroll University. She has lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1996.
Meryl is the author of the Amazon best-selling book, Stop Eating Your Heart Out (2012), and Loss, Survive, Thrive: Bereaved Parents Share Their Stories of Healing and Hope (2019). She also is the co-creator of SourceTapping®, which she taught internationally. Meryl, a seeker of the spiritual, led many healing ceremonies, and lead clients on 12 pilgrimages to Scotland.
Meryl is preceded in death by her son, Jonathan Hershey Beck; her father, Robert “Bob” Hershey and her mother, May Hershey (née Wohl). Meryl is surived by her daughter, Alison Hershey Beck (Mike Sanchez), grandchildren: Jordan (David) Wright, Rylee Beltran (Courtney Papillion), Rorie Manes, Zoe Leviathan, and Talia Manes; great-grandchildren Nora, Hazel and Benjamin Wright; brother Denny (Judy) Hershey and their children, Aaron (Darcy) Hershey, Noah (Jennifer) Hershey, and Julie (Jeremy) Fetterman; sister Bonnie Hershey (Frank Challant) and their children, Dave and Michelle Challant. Meryl is also survived by her ex-husband and close friend, Lenny Beck (Susan Siegel), great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and Robin Trainer who she called her soul sister.
Meryl loved being a mom, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was very generous of heart and spirit and leaves a legacy of love and joy.
No funeral services will be held, Meryl chose to be part of her Celebration of Life on Christmas Eve. In lieu of flowers, Meryl has requested that donations be made in her name to the charity of your choice.