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Beth Gordon

Beth Holtrey, was born October 10, 1912 in Frankfort, Michigan. She ran away from home at the age of 17 and married Clifford Emery, a prominent Chicago chef and later a chef aboard the Southern Pacific streamliner Lark out of San Francisco; they had two children: Brad and his sister, before divorcing around 1935. She next married Laurencelle van Scriver (her children adopted his surname) but eventually divorced and married Weldon D. "Gordy" Gordon (1908-2002).

The family moved to Glendale, California in 1938, and Brad married Nancy Howe in 1952; Nancy was a mineral collector, and Brad caught the mineral collecting bug from her, an interest which he also passed on to his mother Beth and his sister. With mineral dealer Bob Winstead as their mentor, Brad and Nancy finally decided to become full-time wholesale mineral dealers in 1962, making their professional debut at the Glendale Mineral Show, and selling to most of the southern California dealers. They were soon attending all the major mineral shows, and became retail dealers in 1966.

Beth had managed apartment buildings while Brad was growing up, but she opened her own retail mineral business, Beth Gordon Minerals, around 1965. She especially liked Mexican minerals and brought to the market the wonderful acanthites of Guanajuato, the fantastic pyrrhotites of Santa Eulalia, the poker-chip calcites from Charcas, the Joe Cobre wulfenites from the San Franciso mine (and the ones dug there later by Brad's son Curt), and many, many others. Her husband Gordy was not much interested in minerals, so she did all the work; Gordy just drove her to the shows and helped set up.

Beth, always a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer on Christmas Eve 1984. Her thumbnail collection was purchased for resale by Tony Jones (q.v.) and Cal Graeber (q.v.), and her dealer stock (150 flats) was later purchased by Frank Melanson.

[For the full family history see under Brad van Scriver.]
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
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