|Birth: ||Nov. 20, 1914|
|Death: ||Apr. 2, 2003|
The first Mayor of Machesney Park, Illinois.
Story printed on: April 4,2003
LOCAL NEWS: Machesney Park
Machesney backer ‘had many talents'
Charlie Beutell died Wednesday at 88.
By ISAAC GUERRERO
Rockford Register Star
MACHESNEY PARK — You just didn't tell Charlie Beutell there was something he couldn't do.
This was a man who built his own house, learned how to fly a plane and published his autobiography. He never finished college, but he taught at one.
Beutell died Wednesday after complications from an aneurysm after a recent stay at Cor Mariae Center in Rockford. He was 88.
Beutell was instrumental in the village's incorporation and was elected as Machesney Park's first village president in 1981, six years after retiring as an airline maintenance instructor for United Airlines.
"He did everything. He had many talents," said Florence, his wife of nearly 61 years.
Beutell served as treasurer of the Machesney Incorporate Committee, a grass-roots group that persuaded 18,000 people living in unincorporated North Park to establish a village government and reap the benefits of road repairs, police protection and municipal services.
"Charlie and I would always go around together, as a rule," said Ben Hamlin, a member of the campaign who became lifelong friends with Beutell.
"Charlie had a Volkswagen Vanagon and we'd go around talking to different groups. We held several big meetings and people got boisterous at times," Hamlin said.
Beutell passionately believed that incorporation was essential to preventing property taxes from escalating. Many people didn't believe that Machesney Park could operate solely on sales tax income, but a vote to incorporate Machesney Park passed in March 1981.
The village had $2.4 million in the bank when Beutell left office in 1985 after serving one term as village president. Now 22 years old, Machesney Park has never levied a property tax.
"He didn't have to be honored for it or glorified for it," Florence said. "He just wanted the job done."
Beutell was opinionated and keen on speaking his mind, but he'd always treat people with courtesy, employing simple logic and common sense to win their trust.
"He had a gruff voice and was very direct, but underneath all of that rough demeanor, he had a heart of gold," said village President Linda Vaughn.
Beutell was a licensed pilot and taught aircraft maintenance at Harper College in Chicago. He and Florence had a keen interest in genealogy, and the couple enjoyed many trips to Canada, Europe and Mexico. In 1992, Beutell wrote and published "My Awakening," a 150-page story of his life.
"He was a self-educated man," Hamlin said. "Every Sunday afternoon he was at my place or I was at his, solving all the problems of the world."
Occupation: Machesney Park's first village president, 1981-85; United Airlines maintenance instructor, 1945-1975.
Community involvement: Member of St. Bridget Church.
Survivors: Wife, Florence; three children, Candace, Barbara and William; many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Services: Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Monday in St. Bridget Catholic Church, with Father Richard M. Russo officiating. Visitation from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday in Delehanty Funeral Home Ltd., 401 River Lane, Loves Park. Send memorials to St. Bridget Catholic School tuition fund or Harlem High School scholarship fund.
Charles Frederick Beutell (1888 - 1951)
Mary Agnes O'Brien Beutell (1885 - 1969)
Florence Mary Shields Beutell (1920 - 2010)
Dorothy Margaret Mason Beutell (1915 - 1939)*
Paul Henry Beutell (1940 - 1996)*
Barbara Rose Beutell Rogers (1943 - 2015)*
Charles Eugene Beutell (1914 - 2003)
Robert O'Brien Beutell (1916 - 1980)*
Paul Thomas Beutell (1918 - 1993)*
Mary Agnes Beutell Wallace (1922 - 1978)*
Sunset Memorial Gardens
Created by: BF McLaughlin
Record added: Dec 28, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 82483769
Added: Sep. 26, 2012