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 George Robert Beam

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George Robert Beam

  • Birth 8 Nov 1921 Waynesboro, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 13 Oct 2009 Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA
  • Burial Augusta, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA
  • Memorial ID 43090518

George Robert Beam 79, of Battle Creek died Tuesday October 13, 2009 at home. George was born on November 8, 1921 in Waynesboro, PA to George R. and Elizabeth (Hall) Beam. He met Anna, his wife to-be when he was 15 years old. They have been happily married since 1942.

George leaves behind his wife of 67 years, Anna and four children: George R. (Rob) Beam III (Judy), of Battle Creek, Chryle Ann (deceased 1994), Susan (Jerry) Yock, Tucson, AZ, and Karen Beam of Battle Creek. He also leaves seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother, Lucien Beam, sister Jane Mowen, and daughter Chryle.

George graduated from Waynesboro High School in 1941 where he ran track and played football under coach Rip Engle. He spent his summers working with the Civilian Conservation Corps before joining the U.S. Army. George also helped organize and played semi-professional football for the Waynesboro Tigers. George is a retired Army Sergeant First Class. During WW II, he served in the South Pacific with the 5th U.S. Air Force, island hopping from southern tip of New Guinea to Luzon, Philippines. He also served in the Korean Conflict with the PA National Guard's 176th Armor Self-Propelled Artillery from Puson to the Iron Triangle. He received numerous combat ribbons and awards. In October 1943, George crossed the Equator and went through the initiation to receive his "shellback" from King Neptune. He worked at Letterkenny Army Depot as Chief, Small Arms Repair Shop. His love was auctioneering. He was offered the opportunity to conduct an auction sale for surplus Army, Navy and Air Force equipment which subsequently led to becoming the first DoD government auctioneer. That career move transferred him to the Defense Supply Agency in Cameron Station, VA, and in 1962 to Battle Creek, MI, where he helped start the Defense Property Disposal Service.

His "Smilin George" auctioneering career spanned over 20 years. He conducted DoD government auctions in most States, including Hawaii and Alaska. He was a two-time recipient of the Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award; the Civilian of the Year (19650, and the "Million Mile" Award from United Airlines. He was youth counselor, Boy Scout Leader, Binder Park Zoo docent, volunteer at Kellogg Forest, avid hunter and fisherman. He owned and operated Beam's Nursery.

Since retirement he traveled extensively including a travel trailer trip to and from Alaska. He is a member of the Westlake Presbyterian Church; a 32nd degree Mason, Battle Creek Lodge #503; and V.F.W. and a Kentucky Colonel. He received the "Lion of the Year" award from Everglade City, FL Lion's Club. His smile and humor will be missed by all.

Family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday October 15, 2009 at the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home. Funeral service will be held 12 noon Friday at Westlake Presbyterian Church with Rev. Dr. B. Mason Shambach officiating. Interment will follow at Ft. Custer national Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be given to American Cancer Society.

Published in the Battle Creek Enquirer on 10/14/2009


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  • Created by: Jean(C.J.Vought)Green
  • Added: 14 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43090518
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Robert Beam (8 Nov 1921–13 Oct 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43090518, citing Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Jean(C.J.Vought)Green (contributor 47082221) .