Ralph Frederick Beeler Jr., devoted Christian, loving husband, beloved father, adored grandfather, brother and dear friend left this life to spend eternity with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, April 11, 2014. He passed away in the comfort of his home in the arms of Marion, his best friend and loving wife of nearly 52 years, and family following a valiant battle with cancer.
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Fred was born on September 3, 1933, in Keokuk, Iowa, son of the late Ralph Frederick Beeler Sr. and Dorothy Beazell Beeler. He is survived by his wife Marion Davis Beeler, brother Richard Allen Beeler Sr. and wife Janie, daughters Claire Beeler Clark and husband Al, Dorothy Beeler Ruehman and husband Michael, Lee Beeler, Kelly Beeler Childress and husband Kirk, and seven much loved grandchildren.
Soon after moving to Houston, Fred accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1946. He graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1951 and the University of Texas in 1957 with a BBA. While in college, Fred left school and served in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed in Japan and Korea during the Korean War.
In June 1962, he married the love of his life Marion Claire Davis of Corpus Christi, thus beginning a cherished relationship. The couple was blessed and soon welcomed four beautiful daughters into their life.
Always driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, Fred started his privately-owned commercial construction business, the R. Fred Beeler Company in 1964, and became responsible for the construction of commercial and institutional buildings throughout the Houston area. He sold the company to his employees eleven years later. In 1975, he joined the mechanical engineering construction company Straus Systems as Chief Executive Officer.
Fred was named Chairman of the First National Bank of Missouri City's Board of Directors in 1984. Soon after becoming Chairman, he added the responsibility of Chief Executive Officer, managing operations of the bank. Following the sale of First National Bank of Missouri City to Wells Fargo in 2001, Fred retired from the business world and moved with Marion to Rockport, Texas.
Fred served as a Deacon of First Baptist Church of Richmond and also as an Elder at Grace Community Bible Church. He was a Rotarian, a member of the Richmond-Rosenberg Chamber of Commerce, Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chairman of the Fort Bend Independent School District's School Business Partnership, Chairman of the Texas Bankers Association Federal Government Relations Program, District Enrollment Chairman for the Boy Scouts of America, Rockport Chamber of Commerce, Young Life Committee of Rockport, Board of Directors of Biblical Resources Inc., Rockport Appraisal Review Board and the Aransas County Zoning and Planning Commission.
Always inspired by his faith, Fred enjoyed mentoring young people and helping Marion teach Sunday School for the youth groups at First Baptist Church of Richmond and Grace Community Bible Church. Fred and Marion faithfully led their dearly beloved Emmanuel Class at First Baptist Church of Rockport.
Immeasurable memories flourish when recounting the countless hats Fred wore while his four daughters were growing up…Softball Coach, Midnight School Project Scientist, Gardening Supervisor, Swim Coach, Ski Instructor, Horse Trainer, International Tour Guide, Chicken Wrangler, Pancake Maker, Hunting Guide, Rancher, Driving Instructor, Head Mowing Master, Cheerleader, Counselor, Confidant and "Best Friend". In each activity he shared with his daughters, Fred made certain that his girls knew they could do anything as well or better than any "hairy-legged boy," as he used to say.
A celebration service, choreographed by Fred, will be held at First Baptist Church of Rockport on May 3, 2014, at 11 a.m. Fred even considered scheduling this celebration a few months earlier, so he could enjoy and be part of it with you.
Fred was under the loving and compassionate care of Christus Hospice at the time of his passing. The family wishes to express their love and sincere thanks to Clare, Lisa, Betty, and Sandra for helping improve Fred's quality of life during this past year.
Fred, his family and friends are forever grateful for countless daily miracles due to the love and prayers from so many dear Christian prayer warriors.
In lieu of flowers, Fred has requested that donations be made to First Baptist Church of Rockport, 1515 North Live Oak, Rockport, Texas 78382, Rockport Young Life, P.O. Box 1603, Fulton, Texas 78358, or the
Published in Houston Chronicle on Apr. 13, 2014