On June 24, 2013, Donald Thomas Beaman died of natural causes in the assisted living center at The Summit at Westlake. Don was 97 years old at the time of his death. He was with his daughter when he died peacefully.
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Don was born in the small town of Siloam Springs in northwest Arkansas on Aug. 17, 1915. He was the third and youngest child of his parents, Bruce Thomas Beaman and Anna Maria Martens Beaman.
He was raised in Siloam Springs and attended school in a one room schoolhouse until his senior year in high school. He learned at an early age that his key to personal happiness was helping to make others happy. In his senior year of high school he left his parents in Siloam Springs to finish high school in Halsted, Kan., with his older sister so he would be eligible to attend the University of Arkansas.
He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1939 with a degree in business administration. He was a good student and continued his education by working toward a master's degree at the University of Wyoming and later completing the master's degree requirements at the University of Denver. During this time he combined his need for a summer job and his love of nature, especially the mountains, by taking a job as a park ranger at Yellowstone. This passion stayed with him the rest of his life evidenced by his visits to the Canadian Rockies, Bryce Canyon National Park, Red Rock Canyon Park, Glacier National Park and other areas of the country with mountains, forests and canyons.
When World War II started he joined the Army, serving in the Air Corps from 1941-46. He had reached the rank of captain at the time of his discharge after the war ended. Always alert to and open to pursuing opportunities he took advantage of the GI Bill to continue his education after his discharge. He was working on his doctorate and teaching at the University of Texas in Austin when he met his bride-to-be, Barbara Ann Butchers. They were married in 1952, beginning their family shortly thereafter with the births of their children, Mark and Carol. He was a loving, generous, and kind husband and father. He adored Barbara and they enjoyed their marriage, encouraging each other in every way possible.
His job in business administration took them to cities all over Texas, then to South Carolina and Virginia. He and Barbara finally returned to Texas, moving to New Braunfels after his retirement. They traveled together until the time of her death in 1998. After Barbara's passing, he returned to Austin to live in a townhome at the Onion Creek Country Club where he enjoyed his passion for golf, playing until age 94. He felt he was the luckiest man alive being able to live on the golf course and enjoy the community of his close friends at Onion Creek.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Ann Butchers Beaman, his brother, Carl Beaman, and his sister, Verna Beaman.
He is survived by his children, Mark Thomas Beaman of Austin and Carol Ann Beaman-Dodd of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, as well as his three grandchildren, Araba Ruth Beaman-Dodd, Myles Ebo Bruce Beaman Dodd, and Sarah Ann Beaman.
Special thanks are extended to the staff at The Summit at Westlake for all their support and care they had provided Don since 2010.
Don will be laid to rest next to his wife at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. Per his request, there will be a small graveside service only. It will be held at 10 a.m. on June 11. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
Several years ago Don had his picture published in the local Onion Creek newsletter identifying him as "one of the good guys." There has never been a better description of this always loyal friend with a great sense of humor and eternal optimism. His death is a true loss to his family and friends.
Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home – (512) 452-8811. Obituary and guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Virginia Gazette from July 9 to Aug. 8, 2013
Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Homes & Cremation Services
3125 North Lamar Avenue Austin, TX 78705