Family and friends gather to celebrate Jean Beasley’s retirement from sea turtle hospital in Surf City

SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) —Today, Many people gathered on the front lawn of the the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue And Rehabilitation Center to honor and celebrate the hospital’s founder, Jean Beasley, as she enters retirement.

It was “Jean Beasley Day” at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue And Rehabilitation Center, where many hospital volunteers, state and local dignitaries spoke, sharing memories, and proclamations honoring Jean Beasley for her dedication to the hospital over the years.

Beasley says she is thankful for the celebration and kind words many had to share with her.

“I will take the memories of today with me forever, and I will take many other memories. The memories that we all share when we were meeting outside, we had no building, and we had somebody –when we were working on a wound on a turtle, somebody held a umbrella over the turtle, and we got wet,” said Jean Beasely, Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue And Rehabilitation Center founder.

Beasley is the founder and served as longtime executive director of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue And Rehabilitation Center,  created in memory of her late daughter, Karen, in 1997.

After being in the “turtle business” for more than four decades, she is now retiring, and moving to Tennessee to spend time with family, but says she plans to return to Pender County, as it is her forever home.

“Well I’m not going to be moving for good, I’ll be moving to miss hurricane season. I’m keeping my home here. It’s going to become the vacation home for my family, and I will be back next year and every year, god-willing,” said Beasley.

She also says she will still advocate for sea turtles health, and will always hold memories of the center near and dear to her heart.

“I’ve been doing it for so long, I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t think about those 4 flippered animals,” said Beasley. “I love them. It takes us all to keep our oceans clean, to keep our planet clean.  It’s so important to all of us who live on this planet.”

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