The first Berenstain Bears book was published in 1962. In the years since, more than 340 books have been published in the series.
In 2005, Stan Berenstain passed away at age 82 and Legacy.com posted an obituary and Guest Book. Shortly after Stan’s passing, we received an email from the webmaster of BerenstainBears.com. He let us know that he had added a link to our Guest Book on their site, and that the family found comfort in reading the condolence messages. He then told us something that surprised me. Jan wanted to send personal thank you notes to all those who had shared messages of sympathy in Stan’s Guest Book.
I realized in that moment that the Berenstain family clearly lived the lessons they taught in their books – be kind, treat others as you want to be treated, love your neighbor.
I was very sad when I read the news on February 24th that Jan had passed away at age 88. I will remain forever touched by the thoughtfulness, kindness, and love she shared with others following her husband’s passing.
The world is a better place for having the Berenstains in it. And I can tell from reading Jan’s Guest Book that I’m not alone in feeling that way. Here is a small sample of the condolence messages we have received:
*Thank you Jan – and Stan and the Berenstain family for such wonderful memories I have of reading to my children and now my grandchildren and God-willing my great-grandchildren. What a joyful life to celebrate. You all are so very blessed. God Bless you through the sadness and bring you through to the joy, peace and serenity.
*My heart is heavy this day. But the sadness is assuaged with the thought that the love and kindness Stan and Jan espoused, through each of their wonderful books, will live on and on. I raised a truly wonderful daughter with many of the lessons we’d read about in all of the books. She’s 32 now and about to give birth to my first grandchild. I shall share the Bears books with little Poppy as well. The world is a better place because Jan came through. Thank you for your gift. Enjoy your wings.
*Sorry for the loss of Mrs. Berenstain. She has touched our family’s life so positively. She had a amazing way to teach and relate to families on everyday issues. Great examples of laughter and love. She gave so many of us the joy of..Reading ! I enjoyed book after book to my two sons; who now read them to their children. What a soft warm lady, She will be missed.
*My sincerest sympathies on the passing of your mother. When my son was little, we would go to the library and check the Berenstain Bears books out every week. I enjoyed reading them to him as much as he enjoyed hearing them. I hope you find some comfort in knowing that your parents brought pleasure to parents and children alike.
* I’m so sorry to hear of Jan’s passing. My daughters and I are big fans of your wonderful children’s books, The Berenstain Bears. Your books are just about all we read at bedtime any more. Thank you for the many, many hours you enabled me to share with my daughters at story time before bed.