The co-creator of one the most beloved children's books, the Berenstain Bears, passed away on Friday.
Jan Berenstain was a longtime resident of Solebury, Pa., in the southeastern part of the state. She suffered on stroke on Thursday. She was unable to regain consciousness and succumbed to the effects of the stroke. She was 88 years old, reported the Associated Press.
Her successful book series that she authored and illustrated, along with her husband, was inspired by her children and later her grandchildren. The books addressed commons concerns of growing up and offered guidance and solutions on subjects such as peer pressure, attending summer camp and heading to the dentist or doctor.
They say jokes don't travel well, but family humor does, said Jan Berenstain told The Associated Press in 2011. Family values is what we're all about.
The first Berenstain Bears book was published in 196. It was titled The Big Honey Hunt. Since then, over 300 books have been published in 24 languages.
The Stan and Jan Berenstain met when they were 18- years old during their first day of art school in 1941, reported the AP. They married in 1946 after Stan returned from World War II, serving as a medical illustrator for the Army. Jan also served her country during the war, working as a draftsman for the Army Corps of Engineers and later, as a riveter building Navy seaplanes, reported the AP.
The couple wrote and illustrated a series called All in the Family. It ran in McCall's and Good Housekeeping magazines for 35 years. They went on to create hundreds of books until Stan's death in 2005 at 85.
It's wonderful to do something you love for so many years, Jan Berenstain told the AP in 2011. Not everyone has that.
Nearly 260 million copies of the Berenstain Bears have been sold since earliest books were published with the helped of a Random House editor, Theodor Geisel, or more commonly known as, Dr. Seuss.
Since then, the Berenstain Bears have become a family affair. Mike Berenstain, Jan and Stan's son, is an illustrator who collaborated on the books with his parents and his older brother, Leo Berenstain assists on the business end of the franchise.
Mike said his mother would work daily at her home story in Bucks County, reported the AP. Bucks County served as inspiration for the Berenstain setting. Mike plans to continue writing and illustrating Berenstain Bear books.
Every day she was very productive, he said. She was working on two books and had been doing illustrations until the day before she passed away.