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Richard Beecher

December 28, 2018
Traer Star-Clipper


Richard Wayne Beecher passed away Monday, December 10, 2018 at the Sunrise Care Center in Traer, Ia. at age 90. He was known as Rich, Beech, Gray Fox (his license plate) and Whitey (reference to his full head of wavy white hair) to many of his family members. Rich grew up in Dinsdale Iowa where he graduated from high school. Upon graduating he promptly enlisted in the Navy, joining his two older brothers in WWII service. He trained in the Great Lakes and served in the South China Sea and off the Coast of French Indochina (now Vietnam). Upon his discharge, he enrolled in college at Upper Iowa University where he played some basketball before transferring to Iowa State as an Engineering student. In lieu of graduating he married the love of his life Charlotte Novotny and started a family. They loved doing things together, especially dancing to Big Band music, the likes of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey. They were enthusiastic supporters of their 4 children and grandchildren. If Rich didn't agree with the coaching or refereeing, he was never bashful about offering his own sideline coaching perspective or judgment. Rich was deeply principled with a keen sense of right, wrong and fair play.??Beech loved the Iowa Hawkeyes, coaches Forest Evashevski and Hayden Fry, as well as the Chicago Cubs and Bears. Throughout his life he was an avid hunter, fisherman, conservationist, mushroom hunter and a clandestine purveyor of chestnuts for Thanksgiving dressing. He and Charlotte loved spending time with friends and family at the Traer Golf Club. He was a fierce, but fair competitor. Other than the demonstrative pride and love he had for his family, his many years spent organizing and serving on the Tama County Conservation Board and overseeing the building and development of the Otter Creek Lake & Park was a source of deep personal satisfaction and achievement. He felt that families, regardless of their financial means, deserved public venues where loved ones and friends could gather, relax and recreate together. His dementia frustrated him in his later years but the sight of little kids and dogs always brought a smile to his face.??Many knew him as the trusted and dedicated U S Rural Mail Carrier. He took great pride in getting the mail to his patrons in a timely fashion, and yes, he drove relentlessly through Rain and Sleet and Snow. His thousands of miles over rutty gravel roads took their toll on his health as he suffered through numerous back, shoulder and knee surgeries.?He was a lifelong, conservative -values Democrat, with a big heart, always believing that people who experienced misfortune, through no fault of their own, should be protected by society and government. He also insisted that people take personal responsibility for their actions and observe a rigid code of conduct and ethics. He set a great, but sometimes stubborn example for all who knew him. He was a dedicated, loving husband and a caring, supporting father.??He was preceded in death by his parents, Merrill and Albina Beecher, brothers Wesley and Claire(nicknamed Penny), wife of 42 years, Charlotte, grandsons John William Beecher and Jesse Richard Stoakes and his son in law David E Stoakes. Rich is survived by son David (Gail), their 4 sons and their 4 children, son Mark (Lori), their 4 sons and their 10 children, daughter Penny Stoakes and her son, and daughter Jill Ewing, her 3 daughters , 1 son and their 7 children.??A public Memorial Service will be Held Saturday December 22, 2018 at Overton Funeral Home in Traer, Iowa at 10:30 am, with full Navy rites. Rich requested that his body be cremated and no other visitation be held. Memorials may be directed to the Tama Co. Conservation Board for the exclusive support of Otter Creek Lake & Park. God rest his soul as he is reunited with Charlotte.?

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