Redefining Retirement: Embrace All Your Career Paths
Meet Beverly Biehr

Redefining Retirement

It has become increasingly common to have multiple careers in a lifetime. Just ask Beverly Johnson Biehr how she has done it. Work wasn’t just a paycheck but a way to pursue her passions.

After graduating from Iowa State University, Beverly became a Peace Corps-type short-term Methodist missionary in Chihuahua, Mexico. She later took her first teaching job in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) where she worked for 27 years at Waller High School, Whitney Young High School and the Bureau of Science as Coordinator of Family Life Education. Shortly after retirement from CPS, Beverly went back to seminary and completed work to become a pastor. As writing played an important part in both of those careers, she took an adult education class and joined a writers group. Today, she is a writer/author, book club speaker, and enjoying the snowbird lifestyle in Indiana and Florida with her husband Harry.

Beverly always wanted to write a book. She suggests that all teachers have an inner writer and “everyone has a story to tell.” She did not know how to get started on this next chapter so she enrolled in a continuing education class and also joined the Florida Writers Association. This group was filled with members helping each other along the way to publication.

In 2017, Beverly published her award-winning memoir Casualties of Peacemaking (available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book sellers). She documents her adventures during the turbulent years of 1968-1970 in Chicago, and provides a backdrop for the issues that remain today as society searches for co-existence of peace and justice. Beverly describes how she taught summer school in Mayor Daley’s Peace Corp program. That program provided the tools of to Latino and Black high school students who learned about the Chicago political system and ways to effect peaceful change. She also writes about anti-Vietnam War protesters in Chicago who demonstrated to try to convince the Democrats to put into their platform the ending of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and how it was the Corp’s young teachers and pastors’ turn to learn about radical empowerment and political discontent. To learn more about Beverly and her work visit

Beverly states that retirement is “a new stage of life and the time to pursue your dreams.” She encourages others to “get out of your comfort zone, if you have had a dream pursue it.”

Are you Redefining Retirement? CTPF wants to know! Email us what you’ve been up to at and we may contact you for a feature.