Beaver donation honors many kids, grandkids in sports

Dean Beaver (left) stands with Huntington North High School Athletic Director Michael Gasaway after making a $1,000 donation to the school’s athletic department during a break between a basketball doubleheader at North Arena on Friday, Feb. 7. Photo by Steve Clark.

Dean Beaver, of Huntington, has no idea how many sporting events he's attended over the years on behalf of his children and grandchildren.

But as a father of six and grandfather of 11, it's been quite a few..
That run is coming to an end, though, with his youngest grandchild set to graduate from Huntington North High School this year.

The importance of the milestone isn't lost on Beaver - which is why he made a $1,000 donation to the Huntington North Athletic Department in between a basketball doubleheader at the school on Friday, Feb. 7.

It was an act done "in honor of my kids," says Beaver, 82.

Beaver's children include Rich and Doug Beaver, Nadean Brown and Cindy Blocker, as well as Duane and Kevin Beaver, who have both passed away. His grandchildren consist of Travis, Erika, Natalie and Alicia Beaver; Eric, Janell, Mason and Nate Brown; and Cory, Tyler and Abby Blocker.

Five of Beaver's children participated in high school athletics, as have seven of his grandchildren, five of them at Huntington North.

That his family would become so involved in sports is not surprising when Beaver himself was an athlete at Union High School, participating in basketball, baseball and track, and a basketball game was the backdrop for he and his eventual wife's first date.

He's seen his brood play a variety of sports, including football, tennis, basketball, baseball, track and cross country.

Making time to attend all of their events hasn't been easy. Beaver explains that milking cows in the evening often impeded his ability to attend his children's tennis matches, but that his wife compensated for it by baking cookies for every match.

Beaver also relates that getting his children ready to go to sporting events was difficult, particularly when they were younger.
"But I guess they all liked it," he says, "because they all stuck to sports."

Though he'll no longer have a familial connection to Huntington North athletics with that impending graduation of his youngest grandchild, Abby Blocker - a manager for the varsity football and boys' basketball teams - Beaver says he'll still cheer on the Vikings.

"I'm still one of the most faithful fans of Huntington North," he claims.

Beaver will also soon be leaving his home of 60 years for the comforts of a nursing home, a move he says he's excited for, but he has no plans to leave his familiar haunt in the upper deck bleachers on North Arena's east side for basketball games, nor the margins of other Huntington North sporting events, either.

"If they take my car, I'll still go to ballgames," he chuckles. "They'll have to drag me out."

And he still plans on seeing his family just as much as when their sporting events dotted his calendar.

"They're all good kids," he reflects. "They got their heads on straight. I'm just proud of them. Very proud of them."