He was born September 26, 1929, near Coldwater, Ohio, to the late Mabel "Williamson" and David A. Beams, III. After the death of his mom when Gene was 5 years old, Gene and siblings were then raised by his grandma Lou Campbell Williamson with the help of his Aunt Kate and Uncle Smokey. Gene worked for Ketcham's Furniture Store and Funeral Home at the age of 14 till shortly after graduation from Rockford High School in 1948. During that time he enjoyed playing football with his brother Charlie for the Rockford Tigers.
He then worked for the City Loan in Van Wert, OH until 1951 when he went to serve his country in the US Air Force and was stationed in Korea during the Korean Conflict. He was transferred to Washington DC just prior to when he married the love of his life, Wanda Lou Shaffer, on September 6, 1952. During this time, the Founding Fathers documents (the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and 2 pages of the Bill of Rights) were moved from the Library of Congress to the National Archives by a chosen member of each branch of the service. Gene represented the Air Force and held a page in an armored vehicle during the procession. He was also chosen to be an Honor guard at the Inaugural Ball for President Dwight D. Eisenhower who stopped to say a few words to Gene and straightened his tie.
Upon discharge in 1955, they moved to Bowling Green, OH where he graduated in 1958 from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor Degree in Business Accounting. He worked for Marathon Oil Company as an accountant until he retired in 1986. Gene was a member of St. Marks United Methodist Church in Findlay and was a lifetime member of the American Legion. Gene was an all around handyman, willing to help anyone and never really knew a stranger.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Wanda of Findlay; sons: Brent Jay (Lori Michele) Beams of Urbana, OH; Bradly Dee (Lisa Ellen) Beams Vicksburg, MI; daughter, Ann Michelle (Michael John) Van Horn of Sidney, OH; grandchildren: David and Joseph Beams; John, Melissa, Michael and Mark Beams; Suzanne (Kevin) Lang and Jack Van Horn; as well as many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Gene was preceded in death by his sister, Delores Humphreys, and brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Emma Beams and brother Charles Beams.
The family will receive friends and family from 4 to 7 PM Monday, April 22, 2019 at the funeral home and again from 1 to 2 PM prior to the service on Tuesday.
The funeral service will be at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home, 111 W. First Street, Rockford, OH with Rev. Chip Steffy presiding.
Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, OH.
Arrangements entrusted to Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home.
Condolences may be expressed at www.ketchamripley.com
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