McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation - Mt. Pleasant Location
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James R. "Jay" Beam Jr.

1968 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
James R. "Jay" Beam Jr. Obituary
James R. "Jay" Beam, Jr. Daniel Island - Lt Colonel James R. Beam, Jr. (Jay), United States Air Force (Retired), age 49, of Charleston, SC, passed away Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, after a courageous battle with colon cancer. Jay was born on Nov. 2, 1968, to Edwina and Jim Beam. In 1987, Jay graduated from Lincolnton High School. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering from The Citadel in 1991 and was commissioned into the US Air Force in 1992. Additionally, he earned a MS in Systems Engineering from SMU in 2002. Jay had a rewarding USAF career as a Civil Engineer. He held many base level positions from Design Engineer & Chief of Base Development to Commander, 366th Training Squadron. He also held positions at the Combatant Command level, Air Staff, and Major Command which included Operations and Maintenance Program Manager, Command Pavements Engineer and RED HORSE Program Manager. As a Joint Qualified Officer with contingency experience, Jay deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993, supporting OPERATION RESTORE HOPE airlift operations as the Civil Engineer Forces' Officer-in-Charge. He was a decorated officer receiving the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal and Joint Meritorious Unit Award with Oak Leaf Cluster. Retiring from the USAF after 23 years in 2014, Jay returned to The Citadel as Director of Facilities and Operations. After a nationwide search in 2016, he was promoted to Associate Vice President for Facilities and Engineering. Jay led a team of 80 personnel who take great pride in their work to plan and support over 2,000 cadets and campus faculty and administration. He loved The Citadel, had a wonderful staff and wanted to provide only the best for the cadets. Jay was a positive, humble, and forgiving person. He was a team player, put others first, knew his priorities and always gave 100%. Jay is survived by his wife, Mandy; children, Bailey and Averey; parents, Edwina and Jim Beam, Lincolnton, NC; brother, Ched and wife, Samantha, children, Henderson and Sarah, Mt. Pleasant, SC; sister, Katie and husband, Clinton, son CJ, Lincolnton, NC; & grandmother, Bobbie Rudisill, Cherryville, NC. Jay is also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, Citadel brothers & beloved dog Cinder. A Memorial Service will be held at The Citadel Summerall Chapel, Sunday, Oct. 14, at 2pm with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be given to the "Lt Col Jay Beam, Class of 1991 Memorial Fund". These gifts can be sent to South Atlantic Bank, 930 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464. Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted to www.mcalister-smith.com. Arrangements entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, Mt Pleasant, 1520 Rifle Range Road, Mt Pleasant, South Carolina 29464, 843-884-3833. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston
Published in Charleston Post & Courier on Oct. 2, 2018
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