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Charles Beach Jr.

Obituary Condolences

BEATTYVILLE BEACH, MAJOR GENERAL CHARLES JR., chairman of Peoples Exchange Bank & Insurance, expired on Veterans Day, November 11, 2009 at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, KY following a long illness.

He was born on July 4, 1919 in Beattyville, KY the child of the late Charles Beach Sr. and Nancy Hieronymus Beach.

He was the widower of Caroline Margaret Shumate Beach who predeceased him in 1984. He was also predeceased by his son, Hunter Shumate Beach in 1974. He is survived by his son, Charles Beach, III and wife, Helen of Beattyville, KY; his daughter, Elizabeth Beach Baker and husband, Tom, of Germantown, TN; grandchildren, Carrie Baker Tydings and husband, George, Jr. of Potomac, MD; Hunter Baker Boone and husband, Weston of Ruxton, MD; Taylor Beach Moloney and husband, Michael "Whit" of Nashville, TN; Charles Beach, IV of London, England and Thomas Frazier Baker, V of Memphis, TN; one brother, Gardner DeCoursey Beach and wife, Bettie of Frankfort, KY; seven great-grandchildren and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.

General Beach graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia in 1940 and in 1942 entered active duty after specialty training at Ft. Bragg, N.C. and Fort Sills, OK. He was assigned to the 602nd Pack Artillery Battalion, a unit of the 10th Mountain Division (Ski Troops and Light Infantry) at Camp Carson, Colorado. In 1943, he was deployed to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, where the Japanese were the first foreign troops to occupy U.S. soil since 1812. In May of 1944, he was wounded in action at Minturno, Italy and spent 8 months in a military hospital in Memphis, TN. As a result of that action, he was awarded the Purple Heart. After his release from active duty, he was assigned to the U. S. Army Reserves. In 1957 General Beach was re-commissioned in the U. S. Army as a Major and in 1961 his unit was called to active duty in Ft. Chaffee, AK due to the Berlin Crisis. In 1976, he became the 18th Commander of the 100th Division, the All KY Army Reserve Training Division and promoted to the rank of Major General.

In civilian life, General Beach served as chairman of Peoples Exchange Bank and Insurance; President, September Place Retirement Village; President of Beattyville/ Lee County Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the Association of the Century; Board Member, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, OH; Member, Board of Health, Kentucky River District Health; Member, Governor John Y. Brown's Transportation Task Force; Chairman, Kentucky Registry of Election Finance; Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors, Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival; President and Member of the Board of Directors, Financial Management Institute; Member, Congressman Rogers' Southern Kentucky Economic Development Advisory Council; Member, Governor Paul Patton's Council on Quality & Efficiency in Government; State Chairman, Kentucky Association of Area Development Districts; President, Senior Army Reserve Commanders Association, Washington, D.C.; President, Kentucky River Area Development Fund; Chairman, Kentucky River Area Development District, Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors, Kentuckians for Better Transportation; Chairman, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Member of Kentucky Financial Institutions Board, Member of the Advisory Council, Federal Reserve Bank, Cleveland, OH; and Member of the Board of Directors, Kentucky Independent College Fund. He served as Bishop's Warden at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Beattyville. He received numerous honors for his civilian service, including the Small Business Administration Small Banker Advocate (1984), Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year (1992) and the Community Bankers of Kentucky Outstanding Community Banker of the Year (1995). He was recognized by the Beattyville/Lee County Chamber of Commerce in 2008 for serving 58 consecutive years as its President. He also raised money for several community and charitable causes and with his son, Charles, and other civic leaders co-founded a scholarship endowment to help students in Eastern Kentucky pursue careers in the medical profession. This effort has resulted in a medical doctor, a pharmacist, a physical therapist, and a medical encoder returning to Eastern Kentucky to practice; two students enrolling in medical school and nursing school and a third seeking entrance to pharmacy school.

General Beach, a leader in war and in peace, lived a long life of self sacrifice and dedication to his fellow man and to his community. Visitation will be at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Beattyville, KY on Friday, November 13, 2009 5-7 p.m. A private funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2009 11 a.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Beattyville, KY to be followed by a public service at the Riverview Cemetery in Beattyville, KY with full military rites. Following interment, a reception celebrating the life of General Beach will be held at the home of Charles and Helen Beach, 130 Lexington Avenue, Beattyville, KY. Active Pallbearers will be Donald Begley, Claude E. Bentley, Bill Brizendine, Walter R. Byrne, Jr., Bruce Davis, David Hehman, Robert R. Hill, and Charles Lightfoot. Honorary Pallbearers will be Major General William Barron, James Booth, Al Carr, Billy Joe Coomer, Larry Deaton, Eugene Deaton, Luke Keith and Major General John Tindall. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Beattyville, KY. Newnam Funeral Home in Beattyville, KY is in charge of arrangements.

Published in The Courier-Journal on Nov. 12, 2009
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