William M. "Bill" Beachler (1945 - 2016)

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ROWLEY – William "Bill" M. Beachler, 70 years old, of Lansing, Michigan, formerly of Rowley, Iowa, died on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, at his home. He was born on December 4, 1945, in Independence, Iowa, the son of Max Andrew and Wilma Rosetta (Haines) Beachler. He graduated from high school in Independence with the Class of 1964. He graduated from Michigan State University in East Lansing and then served in the U.S. Army in West Germany during the Vietnam Conflict. After his military service, he returned to MSU to earn his masters degree in management.
Bill enjoyed a long career with the Michigan Department of Transportation, where he worked primarily in urban transit. To honor his long service to the state, the Department of Transportation designated a rest area in Saugatuck as the William M. Beachler rest area. He served on the East Lansing Planning Commission and after moving to his condominium, he served as the secretary for the condominium association board.
Bill was always interested in politics and equality for the LGBT community. He helped form the Lansing Association For Human Rights in the late 1970's and served that organization as board member, secretary, and publisher of the LGBT News for the last 37 years.
Michigan State University continued to be a large part of Bill's life. He was a season ticket holder for MSU football and basketball. About ten years ago, Bill provided an endowment for MSU to create a scholarship known as the Pride Scholarship which provides financial assistance to students committed to LGBT leadership. He served as secretary ton the board of the MSU LGBT Alumni Association. He also supported other state and national LGBT organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign, the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, the Triangle Foundation, and Equality Michigan.
Following his retirement, he filled his time with volunteer work, playing euchre, and volleyball. He was also a flutist with the Equality Band of Michigan. He enjoyed gardening, his cats, decorating his apartment for holidays, and Yankee candles.
Bill is survived by his sister, Judy (Alan) Kress of Independence, Iowa, his brother, Jim (Jean) Beachler of Robins, Iowa; five nieces and nephews: Jami (Jeremy) Brewer, Michelle (Scott) Burkhart, Teresa Beachler, and Troy (Sarah) Beachler; and several great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at the Presbyterian Church in Rowley, Iowa, with Rev. Lisa Ross Thedens officiating. Burial will be in Rowley Cemetery, Rowley. Friends may call for visitation from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the White Funeral Home in Independence where a Military Service begins at 7 p.m. On line condolences may be left at www.White-MtHope.com.
Funeral Home
White Funeral Home
400 First Street West
Independence, IA 50644
(319) 334-2595
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Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Jan. 15 to Jan. 23, 2016
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