The youngest of two girls born and raised in Burlington’s Old North End, as a child Beverly La Point was her father’s favorite. A milk man by trade, she followed him everywhere he went. Perhaps it was this early bond with her father that later helped Beverly thrive in her first job after high school: Working as secretary for a group of army soldiers at Camp Johnson.
“The guys were friendly; I liked working with them,” she recalls.
One of two women working in the office, Beverly relished her job as secretary, though it had its difficult moments. Often these came when she was taking dictation for the army general. “Sometimes he got really colorful and he’d swear at the staff and forget I was in the room,” she chuckles. “Then all the sudden he’d remember and apologize.”
When an opportunity came to transfer to the state health department, Beverly took it. She worked as a transcriptionist in an office filled with other women. She purchased supplies and did the payroll, which she was naturally good at. Still, after three years she began to miss the army boys. “I missed my friends at Camp Johnson; I got lonely so I went back for another ten years,” she says.
A hard worker, Beverly threw herself into her career and chose to remain single. She credits her colleagues at Camp Johnson with helping her make this decision.
“They always talked about playing golf on weekends and leaving their wives at home to do the work,” She says. “That made an impression on me and I realized I didn’t want to be married.”
Beverly spent the last part of her career working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a job where she often traveled throughout Vermont visiting local farmers to see how they were conducting their businesses. A snappy dresser, Beverly often wore high heels to work, which added a couple of inches to her already lofty height of 5’ 9 ½”.
“I’d show up at the farms in my high heels,” she says. “The farmers thought it was funny. I never knew when I was going to a farm, so I always dressed for the office.”
A former horse-back rider, some of Beverly’s most treasured life memories involve animals. She smiles when she remembers Shadow, a cat she had for eighteen years that moved with her to Cathedral Square eight years ago.
“She loved me very much, so it was nice to me,’ she says. “But she used to hiss at the staff.”
One of her life’s highlights was volunteering to help retired Greyhounds at a kennel. She still recalls the first time she cleaned out their cages. “I let out all eighteen dogs out at the same time,” she says, laughing. “I didn’t know any better. They all ran at me and licked my face. I never did that again.”
These days Beverly looks forward to animal visits at Cathedral Square. Nicknamed “The Chicken Lady” because of her passion for feathered friends, Beverly lights up when nursing director Sarah Mariani brings in her pet chickens.
Does Beverly have a favorite animal memory?
“I loved the llama that came at Christmas a couple years ago.” She says. “He looked so snooty, but really he was sweet.”