A Tribute to Clint Beeler

The Bocas del Toro community lost a fun-loving friend on April 8, 2021, when Clint Beeler left us in the physical world. Clint’s husband Roger and dear friends Maryann and Allene have sent us some beautiful words in his memory which we will immortalize here on Bocas del Toro’s community newspaper website in remembrance of the spirit of our friend. This is a tribute to Clint Bleeler.

Roger Durbin on the right and Clint Bleeler on the left.

Roger Durbin (left) with his husband Clint Bleeler (right)

A full life among the people he loved – Roger Durbin

Clint Beeler, July 2, 1971-April 8, 2021
Clint’s ambition in life seemed to be to make people laugh. He loved to party and have fun. And that he did, whether at his Wednesday volleyball games with the crew, or at informal or formal gatherings.
Clint had a big laugh and a bigger heart.
Clint and I have lived in Bocas full-time for three years. When we came down the first time for a vacation six years ago, we fell in love with the town and island life, so much so that we didn’t want to leave after our two weeks. We waited a year and came back to see if the island had the same vibe. As we got off the plane at the airport, Clint said it feels like coming home. Our vacation turned into a search for property.
Just three weeks ago, Clint said once again that he was living his dream, and that he had a full life among the people he loved here.

4-ever friends 2-gether 0-regrets – Maryann Moore

Our world lost a really good guy April 8th.

Clint was like a crazy little brother to me, and I’ve only known him a couple years. We met after the 2018 Chili Cookoff at Skully’s. I was looking at event pictures on Facebook and I saw this guy wearing an Akron t-shirt. My hometown! Trust me. Akron, Ohio isn’t exactly a tourist destination, so I had to know who this guy was. I learned his name and sent him a message. Turns out not only were Clint and his husband Roger from Akron but from the same neighborhood as Joe and me. WHAT??? We never knew them in Ohio. It took Bocas to bring us together. But the 4 of us have been thick as thieves since we met.

Clint’s smile and energy could light up a room. He loved to make people laugh. We texted a lot. At night. After a few drinks. You get the picture. Literally laughing out loud kind of nonsense. It was great! But sometimes he would just know if I was sad or had the blues. I would get a message asking if I was ok, “You’re very quiet tonight”. And he would just listen and be so kind and supportive. He was sunshine on a cloudy day.

Clint and Roger helped me in so many ways when Joe passed. It’s hard to believe that Clint’s gone now, too. Ten weeks apart.

I will miss you my Buckeye Brother from another mother. I’m so grateful for the couple of years you were in my life.

4-ever friends

2-gether

0 regrets

A wooden plaque with the initials CB and the words 4ever 2gether 0 regrets

Clint Bleeler’s memory is etched in a wooden plaque with his initials and a toast that his volleyball friends chose to remember him by.  The plaque is displayed at the Reef-to-Ridge volleyball court, where he spent some of his fondest Bocas del Toro memories, participating in regular matches with a close group of friends.

Nobody knows what tomorrow may bring – Allene Blaker

I met Joe J Riccardi and Maryann Moore serendipitously. By fortune, by chance, for future reasons unknown at the time. Before the COVID hit, I needed to go to David but did not want to take the bus, so my sister Lynn Mershon Hefner suggested I go with Joe and Maryann who were also going to David and needed another a rider. I became facebook friends with the couple and met them at Taxi 25 for the first leg of our trip, which was the water taxi to the mainland town of Almirante. There we were met by our taxi driver who took us over the mountains to David. Joe sat up front with the driver while Maryann and I sat in the back seat and talked out our whole lives. It only took those few hours to know each other well. Because of the COVID thing, we did not see each other again for months. Actually, more than a year. My husband Clay and I became pretty much total recluses during that whole time. And then, earlier this year, I saw that Joe had passed away.

Our neighbors Roger Durbin and Clint Beeler were very close friends of Joe and Maryann’s so they spent the day after his passing with Maryann, just to be there for her. That night, I sent Roger a private message knowing how sad it must have been for all of them, and included a poem, ”Growing Old,” that I read years ago but has always stuck with me. Written by Emma Wheeler Wilcox back in the early 1900’s, it is still special today. I told Roger to hold Clint close, because as the poem explains … “Nobody knows what tomorrow may bring.” Clint and Roger both appreciated the gesture. Roger asked me if I was going to send the poem to Maryann and I replied “No, this is not for those who are mourning. It is for those who need to know they will be mourning one day.”  And then, unexpectedly, a very few months later, Clint passed away.

Maryann was suddenly in the position of being there for Roger. She did, and is still doing so. I sent her a private message telling her about the poem I had sent to Roger and Clint, due to Joe’s passing, and how it moved them. She wrote me this week asking if I would include the whole story of this in a memoriam to Clint and I said, “Of course.” So here it is, and here is the poem. With a final comment of mine. Clint and Roger would walk with their pets every day, they were always about the sea, and their view of it. When you read this poem, you will see the two of them, as surely as I do.

The days grow shorter, the nights grow longer,
The headstones thicken along the way;
And life grows sadder, but love grows stronger
For those who walk with us day by day.

The tear comes quicker, the laugh comes slower;
The courage is lesser to do and dare;
And the tide of joy in the heart falls lower,
And seldom covers the reefs of care.

Bu all true things in the world seem truer,
And the better things of earth seem best,
And friends are dearer, as friends are fewer,
And love is all as our sun dips west.

Then let us clasp hands as we walk together,
And let us speak softly in low, sweet tone,
For no man knows on the morrow whether
We two pass on — or but one alone.

Rest in peace, Clint Beeler

The Bocas Breeze is a digital and print newspaper proudly serving the Bocas del Toro community since 2004; reporting news, advertising local businesses and promoting tourism in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

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