Boxer Love Story: Dale BeVier '56, O.D. '57 & Helen (Roberts) BeVier '58

Dale and Helen’s story of Pacific-based love is slightly different than most. Dr. Dale A. Bevier, a 1957 graduate of the School of Optometry, was raised in upstate New York and transferred to Pacific from West Virginia Wesleyan College in the fall of 1953.

Dale took four courses from Dr. John R. Roberts, Professor of Biology and other related sciences. One night, Dr. Roberts invited Dale over to his house to see his extensive model railroad. While there, his daughter, Helen Anne Roberts, came down the stairs and out the door past Dale on her way to a baby-sitting job.

Helen was a freshman at Pacific. Dale said he was immediately smitten by her happy persona and cheerful demeanor. Dale waited around to see her again when she came home from baby-sitting. After a second meeting, he decided she was “worth looking into further.”

They dated for the first time the following weekend along with a Gamma Sigma fraternity brother and his date. The couples attended a dance in Portland featuring an 18-piece big band. After committing to a serious relationship letting their love blossom through a passion for music, Dale and Helen married on March 23, 1956.

Dale graduated in May of 1957 and went into optometry practice with his father in New York, but music still followed the couple across the country. During their time at Pacific, Helen and Dale listened to a piano and bass player jamming in Warner Hall. Helen told Dale as they left the jam session that she would like to play the bass fiddle. Ten years later, Dale brought a bass fiddle home to Helen and she learned how to play it. Dale started playing the piano again and they found a drummer and a trio was formed.

That was the beginning of a 45-year career as part-time professional musicians playing in trios and later on as a duo. Their duo is now called "Side by Side" and after 56 years of marriage, they are still performing together.

Dale plays multiple keyboards and Helen is the featured singer. Now they play mostly as volunteers at senior citizen's homes in the Richmond, Virginia area. As a couple they have played for 53 different homes in the past two years and are booked up months in advance. Along the way, Helen and Dale have played in night clubs, fine restaurants and other venues. They have also formed and managed four different 13 to 18-piece big bands playing all the old big band tunes made famous by leaders like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton and others.

Dale said they have had a very wonderful marriage and “we're buddies as well as a couple,” said Dale, “We have four wonderful and highly successful children.”

To conclude, Helen went on to graduate in Ornamental Horticulture from Clemson University when she was 50 years old and raising four children. She enjoyed a very successful career as a Horticulturist at two highly respected gardens; Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and Harry P. Leu Botanic Garden in Orlando, Florida.

Dale said he has a great love and fond memories of Pacific University and his time there.

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Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014