Elmer Russell McBeath
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Elmer Russell McBeath passed away Monday, May 13, 2013. He was born in Folsom, California. He was the only son of Elmer and Clara McBeath. He was proceeded in death by his oldest daughter Andrea and sister Eunice. He graduated from Folsom High School in 1942 and attended Sacramento City College. He was a member of the US Army Air Corps, having served in the China, Burma, India Theater during World War II, flying the "Hump". He returned to Folsom where he married and had a family. He was always involved in his community. He began his fire service career as a junior fireman for the Folsom Volunteer Fire Department at the age of 14. Elmer moved through the ranks of engineer, assistant chief and chief. While volunteering as a fireman he owned and operated a service station on Sutter Street, next door to the firehouse. In 1957, he became assistant chief for the Mills (Rancho Cordova) Fire Department and chief the following year. Under his leadership the district grew from one station and five paid employees to four stations and 67 employees. While chief of Rancho Cordova he initiated the formation of the Sacramento Fire Advisory Board, for which he served as chairman until his retirement. He served as coordinator of Region IV of the California State Office of Emergency Services (which included eleven counties). He served as advisor to Governor Ronald Reagan in developing mutual aid throughout the state of California. At retirement he served as director of the California State Fire Chiefs Association, and president of the Rancho Cordova Fire Fighters Association. He was past president of the California Rural Fire Association, the Tri-District Fire Association and the Sacramento-Yolo Fire Association. Other memberships included; the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Western Fire Chiefs Association, the California State Fire Fighters Association, the Sacramento County Valley Fire Chiefs Association, the Placer County Fire Chiefs Association, and past member of the American River College Fire Advisory Board. He held memberships in the China, Burma, India Veterans Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Folsom Post 6604 where he was past commander and the Georgetown Post 9241, charter member of the Folsom Rotary Club, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce, Folsom Chamber of Commerce, Rancho Cordova Rotary and the Mills One Club. After his retirement he sold and consulted with fire departments for the purchase of fire equipment. He enjoyed traveling the country in his motor home and visiting family and friends, a special hobby was fishing from his commercial boat, SEASL, off the coast of Bodega Bay. Many hours were spent working in his wood shop and attending to his garden.
He leaves to grieve his passing and celebrate his life; his loving wife of 67 years, Shirley Carter McBeath, son Steven and daughter Linda (Bob), devoted grandchildren Christopher (Linda), Loree (Jeff), Matthew (Beth), Paul (Kassie). Shannon (Robbie), Andrea (Jeremiah), Jonathon and Joshua, 15 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. In addition, his dedicated nephews Bob Keefer and Rick (Mary) Keefer.
The family expresses appreciation to Elmer's many friends, especially his fellow firefighters for their support and assistance. A service to celebrate his life was held at Millers Funeral Home, 507 Scott Street, Folsom, California, May 20, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Family requests donations be made in his name to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, California, 95817
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on May 21, 2013