PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Stan Berenstain, creator of the popular children’s books about a loving furry family called the Berenstain Bears, died Nov. 26 in Pennsylvania. He was 82 and lived in Bucks County.
The more than 200 Berenstain Bears books, written and illustrated by Mr. Berenstain and his wife, Jan, helped children for 40 years cope with trips to the dentist, new babies in the family, eating junk food and cleaning their messy rooms.
The first Berenstain Bears book, “The Big Honey Hunt,” was published in 1962. The couple developed the series with Theodor Geisel — better known as Dr. Seuss, then head of children’s publishing at Random House — with the goal of teaching children to read while entertaining them.
Despite changes in society in the past four decades, little has changed in “Bears Country.”
“Kids still tell fibs, and they mess up their rooms, and they still throw tantrums in the supermarket,” Mr. Berenstain told the Associated Press in 2002. “Nobody gets shot. No violence. There are problems, but they’re the kind of typical family problems everyone goes through.”
Mr. and Mrs. Berenstain began drawing together when they met at Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art in 1941.
They married soon after he got out of World War II-era Army service and began submitting cartoons to magazines. They became contributors to the Saturday Evening Post, McCalls and Collier’s.
In their early years of collaboration, the couple wrote the “All in the Family” cartoon series for McCall’s and Good Housekeeping. In 1962, they began an association with Mr. Geisel.
In later years, their sons joined them at writing and illustrating, and many of the recent books are credited collectively to “The Berenstains.”
The characters are the subject of their own public television program, DVDs and a Christmas musical.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Berenstain is survived by two sons, Leo and Michael.
William Newby, 85,64-year TVA veteran
KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP) — William Newby, the longest-serving employee in the history of the Tennessee Valley Authority, died Nov. 26 of natural causes at his home. He was 85.
An Alabama native and World War II veteran, “Mr. Newby” as he was known throughout the nation’s largest public utility liked to say he married twice in 1941 — first to his bride, Sarah, and a few months later to the TVA.
“I came here in 1953 when it was a hole in the ground,” the electrical engineer told the Associated Press in a 2001 interview, referring to the nine-boiler Kingston Fossil Plant. When the station was finished in 1955, he transferred to maintenance. “I’ve been here ever since,” he said.
After 64 years, Mr. Newby was still on the payroll when he died, TVA spokesman John Moulton said.
“He was the simplest and purest of TVA ideals wrapped into one man,” said Jim Cordell, electrical control building operator at the Kingston plant. “Back before politics, land swaps for money and a debt that has skyrocketed over the years, Bill Newby helped usher in the ideal of the TVA Act: flood control, cheap electricity and jobs for the valley.”
Mr. Cordell called him an “inspiration through example” respected by craftsmen, laborers and managers alike. “When he talked, we all listened,” Mr. Cordell said.
Mr. Newby is survived by his wife; six children; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.