James Hagan Beatson, Sr.
AGE: 82 • Wilmington
James Hagan Beatson, Sr., age 82, died peacefully on March 24, 2014. He will be missed greatly and forever loved.
Jim was born on January 25, 1932, in Savannah, Georgia, and grew up in Wilmington's Ninth Ward, graduating from Christ Our King School and Salesianum School. Jim also attended the University of Delaware, majoring in political science before joining the National Guard in 1950. A year later, Jim was sent for active duty to serve in the Korean War; and then honorably discharged in 1952 as Staff Sergeant. Jim was extremely patriotic and proudly served his country.
In his youth, he enjoyed playing basketball, baseball and football with his friends and grew to become an avid reader and a lifelong history buff.
Upon return to Delaware, Jim started a long career with Diamond State Telephone (AT&T) - first as a telephone lineman and then as the lead telecommunications technician for Hercules Plaza in Wilmington. Jim was known by friends, co-workers and family alike as a talented "phone man" with a quick, dry wit. He was a terrific storyteller and could make his family and friends laugh with a turn of phrase or look in his eye. He was incredibly generous and would give the last $10 in his wallet to anyone who needed it.
Jim married the love of his life, Patricia Billingsley Beatson, in 1953, moved to Claymont, DE and started a family. Together, Jim and Pat raised seven children at 601 Harvey Road, where on any given Saturday, you could find him whipping up a batch of his famous southern-style boiled peanuts or making delicious sandwiches for his kids and their friends.
The essence of his spirit was captured effortlessly by 2 of his grandsons, Sam and Chris, who wrote:
"Rough around the edges with a heart of gold is how I like to think of him...it was truly a pleasure to have this man in my life to show me what hard work, toughness and dedication is all about. RIP Pop-Pop."
"He was the most deadpan, ornery, sardonic person I've ever known, and I miss him already. He never missed a beat, right up until the end, and when I spoke to him a few weeks ago, he was still up for a bit of verbal sparring when I gave him flack for taking over my old bedroom."
Jim was predeceased by his beloved wife and best friend, Pat, his wife of more than 60 years; and his faithful canine, Duke. He's survived by his children: Mary Ellen Schofield (Andrew) of Bear, DE; James Hagan Beatson, Jr., of Wilmington, DE; Elizabeth Jane "Betty" Brady (Michael) of Hockessin, DE; Patricia "Trisha" Casula (Paul) of Hockessin, DE; Joanne M. Cary (Phillip) of Bristol, NY; Robert Beatson (Joan) of Wilmington, DE; and Jennifer Beatson of Wilmington, DE. Jim was blessed with 14 grandchildren: Alexandra, Amanda, Ben, Bridgette, Christopher, Hagan, Jack, James, Jill, Maggie, Michael, Nathan, Sam and Stephen; as well as 3 great-grandchildren: Audrey, Liam and Olivia; and a great-granddaughter due in April.
He was also predeceased by his parents, Robert and Mary Beatson; brother, Robert Beatson; and sisters, Catherine Lacey and Margaret Lombard.
The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Seasons Hospice, especially Amy and Dawn, for helping us care for our dad and keeping him comfortable the past few months.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 29, 2014, at St. Joseph on the Brandywine, 10 Old Church Road, Greenville, where family and friends are invited to visit beginning at 10:00 AM. Burial will be held at the adjoining cemetery immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Salesianum School, 1801 N. Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19802
To send condolences, visit: www.dohertyfh.com