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 • Spring Hill Cemetery
 • Harrodsburg
 • Mercer County
 • Kentucky
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Thelma Champion Beeler
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Birth: 1905
Death: Jan. 2, 1996

Award-winning teacher Thelma Champion Beeler, 91, of Cherokee Park, Lexington, and a native of Mercer County, died at 10:55 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, 1996. Mrs. Beeler, who was in education for 75 years, taught her last day Dec. 21, 1995, when Lafayette High School dismissed for the holiday break. Mrs. Beeler started Lafayette's award-winning debate program in 1939. In 1976, Lafayette's auditorium was renamed for her. An annual debate tournament at the school also bore her name. In 1992, she was inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Education Hall of Fame. In 1993, she was one of 10 winners of Teacher Achievement Awards from Ashland Oil Inc. Mrs. Beeler taught full-time at Lafayette from 1945 to 1974. She taught English, speech and drama. Among her former students were Gov. John Y . Brown and actor Jim Varney. After she retired she immediately signed up as a substitute teacher. She helped out in Lafayette's suspension room, helped with speech tournaments and sold tickets to the school's basketball and football games. Born in Mercer County, she was the daughter of the late John Paul Champion and Emma Ison. She grew up around Shakertown, which her grandfather John H. Champion, helped to build. She was the widow of the Rev. T.W. Beeler. She studied at Asbury College and at what is now Eastern Kentucky University. She received a master's degree from UK. She began her education career in 1922 at a two-room school at Mt. Zion in Mercer County. She later taught in Cincinnati, OH, and Campbell, Harlan and Madison counties before moving to Lexington. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church. Survivors include: two grandsons, Chester Wayne "Skip" Beeler II of Charlotte NC, and Thomas Champion "Champ" Beeler of Knoxville, TN; two great-grandchildren, Christopher Wayne Beeler and Melissa Allison Beeler, both of Moreno Valley, CA; a daughter-in-law, Bettie Beeler Newell of Santa Rosa, FL; a sister-in-law, Mildred Champion of Lexington; five cousins; two nieces, and a nephew. She was preceded in death by a son, Chester Wayne Beeler, and two brothers, Earl Champion and Harry Champion. Services for Mrs. Beeler will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday at W.R. Milward Mortuary - Southland. Dr. Harold W. Dorsey and Dr. Howard H. Willen will officiate. Burial will be at 1:30 p.m. at Spring Hill Cemetery. 
Family links: 
  John Price Champion (1877 - 1948)
  Mary Emma Ison Champion (1878 - 1975)
  Harry Champion (1901 - 1986)*
  Thelma Champion Beeler (1905 - 1996)
  Earl Champion (1906 - 1988)*
*Calculated relationship
Spring Hill Cemetery
Mercer County
Kentucky, USA
Created by: Denny Jackson
Record added: Oct 03, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21904752
Thelma <i>Champion</i> Beeler
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Donna (VanArsdall) Hoffman
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- NameGatherer
 Added: Aug. 11, 2014

- Denny Jackson
 Added: Oct. 3, 2007

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