Remembering Aloyce Beth DuVal Deare


Feb. 22, 2011

Beth Deare. (WGBH Archive)

BOSTON — WGBH joins our community in mourning the loss of Aloyce Beth DuVal Deare, the former producer (1978-1988) of Say Brother (now Basic Black) and numerous WGBH documentaries. She died February 21 in a fire at her home in Newton.


WGBH's Callie Crossley remembers Beth Deare

Beth’s talents earned her 13 Emmys and a Peabody Award during her tenure at WGBH—among them, an Emmy for In the Matter of Levi Heart, a documentary about a Boston Police shooting. Her credits include Beacon to Freedom: Black Life in the Bay Colony, which she finished in 2008 while undergoing treatment for throat cancer, and American Experience’s Midnight Ramble, a 1994 film about the history of black filmmaking.  

Beth, who was battling brain cancer at the time of her death, taught in the English department at Bunker Hill Community College.

Her family issued this statement: “We take comfort in knowing that the cancer she fought for more than five years will no longer consume her and that her vast family and extended family–including students, and friends around the world–will keep her in love and prayer.”

“WGBH is saddened by this loss,” says WGBH Vice President for Communications and Government Relations Jeanne Hopkins. “Beth was a very talented producer and someone who helped connect WGBH with others in the community.”

Tributes have been pouring in from Beth’s friends and colleagues. We invite you to add your remembrances below, in the comments section. The DuVal family sent WGBH this statement: 

The family of Beth Deare is devastated by the news of our loved one's passing. We were informed early Monday morning that our sister’s residence was engulfed in flames and shortly thereafter learned that our fears were realized. The police confirmed that we lost our dear one in the tragic fire.

We will spend this time remembering that Beth’s life was full with incredible highs, ranging from her loving daughter and three grandchildren to her many awards and accolades for her acclaimed work in television and film, including 13 Emmys and a Peabody.

We take comfort in knowing that the cancer she fought so valiantly for more than five years will no longer consume her and that her vast family and extended family — including students, and friends around the world — will keep her in love and prayer.

We thank everyone for all the love and condolences already coming in from as far as the African continent. A "Celebration of Life" is being planned for Beth on Saturday, March 26, 2011, and a memorial fund is being established in her honor. A portion of the proceeds from that fund will help the other families impacted by the fire to rebuild. She loved them dearly and with your help we can honor them in her name.


Lynn DuVal Luse and John Aki DuVal, Beth's loving siblings


Share your thoughts about Beth DuVal Deare, who lost her life February 21 in house fire in Newton, MA, after an award-winning WGBH career in filmmaking and 15 years as a passionate, engaging English professor at Bunker Hill Community College.

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