Galen Beery Legacy Exhibit
Story of the Hmong through photographs and stories
Interview with Galen
“Galen was the best of us. The trajectory of his life story speaks eloquently about the values he cherished and the enduring effects that his actions had on those that he touched. And for all those that he touched and benefitted from his skill and generosity – Galen will be remembered for who he was as a person.” — Larry Berger
Galen Beery’s Life
Galen Stover Beery, born November 15, 1937, in La Habra, California, led a life marked by service, dedication, and a profound love for history. The eldest son of Cleo and Miriam Beery, Galen's childhood home was a tapestry of cultural richness that nurtured his historical interests. His passion for literature, especially Western novels, blossomed early and informed his future path.
Galen's academic journey led him to the University of La Verne, where he earned a BA in History in 1959. His convictions as a conscientious objector aligned him with the International Voluntary Service (IVS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), propelling him into humanitarian roles in Laos and Cambodia during the tumultuous era of the Secret War. This period also saw Galen expanding his skills in writing and photography. After his time in Southeast Asia, he returned to the U.S., achieving a master's degree in Municipal Administration from USC.
His career was a testament to his commitment to aiding displaced persons, highlighted by his directorial roles in resettlement programs and his work with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in San Diego. His efforts went global during his tenure as Chief of the American Council for Voluntary Agencies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, aiding refugees in resettlement. Back in La Verne, California, Galen continued his service, particularly as a court translator for immigrants, and received accolades for his work, including recognition from the HmongStory 40 Project Planning Committee in 2015.
Galen's interests were not confined to his humanitarian work. He was an avid collector of historical memorabilia, co-authored a history of La Verne's Church of the Brethren, presided over the La Verne Historical Society, and enjoyed antique cars and civic activities. His personal life was anchored by his marriage to Doris Law, with whom he shared many of his passions.
However, tragedy struck on October 11, 2016, when Galen and Doris were fatally injured in a car accident during a cross-country journey. Galen Beery's enduring legacy is woven through the lives he touched, the communities he served, and the global impact of his humanitarian efforts.