|Beatriz Elena Corbera-Hammack was born on December 19, 1972 in El Salvador, daughter of Maria Suarez and Victor Corbera. She spent much of her childhood in El Salvador at the home of grandparents, Jose Arturo Corbera and Beatriz Aminta Marin de Corbera. She was a mischievous little girl, one that could not be left alone, and was appropriately nicknamed “terremoto” (translated as “earthquake” in English) by her Uncle Ricardo. As a young child, she loved going to the amusement park, El Mundo Feliz, and climbing trees, much to the dismay of her parents. Her grandparents sent her to school at the Colegio Anglo Americano so she could learn English.
She arrived in the United States at age nine and lived with her father Victor and his new family in Los Angeles. As a teenager in Los Angeles, she delighted in ballet, karate, swimming, the cello … and tormenting her brothers, Victor and David. Beatriz moved to San Francisco in 1988 with her mom. She attended the first year of high school at McAteer and the last two at International Studies Academy. There, she made many friends and was a member of the volleyball and cross country teams. Shortly before her high school graduation, she and her mom moved to Berkeley.
Around this time, Beatriz’s mom became very ill with Lupus. This was also when she met her then future husband, James Hammack, while hanging out with friends in San Francisco. With her mom so ill, Beatriz devoted her life to taking care of her. She enrolled at Vista Community College, taking classes in Business, Spanish, and other general electives, but her main mission in life was always her mom. This kept her preoccupied while Jim was finishing his studies at USC until 1995.
Beatriz and Jimmy were married on August 10, 1996 at the Tulip Garden in Golden Gate Park. They spent their first year and half of their marriage in a modest one bedroom apartment on Monterey Boulevard in San Francisco. Here, they spent some of their happiest and most carefree moments.
Jim and Bea purchased their first home in Berkeley in the summer of 1998. They lived there for three years. Her mom lived with them in the back cottage. Shortly after moving to Berkeley, Bea was diagnosed with Lupus. She resigned her position at Providian Financial Corp., and she and Jim focused on trying to beat this disease. During these years, she forged a strong bond with all of her siblings, Victor, David, Ricky and her baby sister, Nena. The disease never prevented her from enjoying the finer things in life, her friends, her family, her cats, Max and Tita.
In 2001, Jim, Bea, her mom, and Gerard, moved to El Sobrante, a peaceful town away from the hustle and bustle of the City. Here, she became the proud owner of Willy, the healing gecko; and Valentine, the mix-breed puppy rescued from the Humane Society; as well as Bonnie and Clyde, the two water turtles. Caring for animals, and spending precious time with her husband and mom added much joy to her life.
Her final days were spent surrounded by all of her loved ones, even her gecko Willy. May her spirit live within us forever.