Dorothy Esther Gurnee Beam of Las Cruces, N.M., was ushered into the presence of her Lord and Savior during the early morning hours of Saturday, March 1, 2014. She was just one month and four days short of being 102 years old. She had been a resident of Hacienda Senior Assisted Living Home for about 2 years when she passed away of natural causes. Dorothy E. Gurnee was born of parents Byron Kilburn Gurnee and Eula Coons Gurnee on April 5, 1912, in Sennett, N.Y., when she joined the Gurnee family, including a sister, Winifred. Dorothy had red hair and a character to match it. She loved music and playing softball. She attended Normal School in Cortland, N.Y., where she became a teacher. She taught school in her home area, in a one-room schoolhouse where she taught grades 1 through 8. Miss Gurnee was married to Wesley Bennett Beam on June 15, 1933. After Wesley returned from the service in WWII, they had two sons, Richard and David. Wesley was a professional printer at a large newspaper in Auburn, N.Y., and Dorothy an accomplished pianist and organist at Second Baptist Church. She also was a bookkeeper at a local business. In 1955, Wesley and Dorothy Beam obeyed the Lord's call on their lives and moved to Madison, Ga., to begin a lifetime of missionary service with a Christian literature publication house specializing in Bible Correspondence Courses, Source of Light Ministries. Wesley continued his lifelong passion in the printing world there at Source of Light until his death on June 6, 1985. Dorothy, in addition to being a strict but loving mother, also served as the ministry's first bookkeeper and finally as a lesson grader for a total of 45 years until she retired at age 88!
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Mar. 5, 2014