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Robert H. (a.k.a. Bednarczuk) Bee

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Robert H. (a.k.a. Bednarczuk) Bee

LEBANON: Robert H. (a.k.a. Bednarczuk) Bee, 88, of Lebanon, World War II veteran and P.O.W., one of 12 children, husband, father, grandfather, inventor, lawyer, and teacher, passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

Mr. Bee, as he was affectionately called by his students, lived a life full of great stories - the archetype of The Greatest Generation. He spent his early years in service. From his B-17 bomber training, to being shot down over enemy territory, to his months spent in German held territory as a prisoner of war - cold, starving and trading Red Cross chocolate for bread on P.O.W. marches, his service experience provided much material for the stories that he would recall throughout his life. After returning from service, he met the love of his life, Alma Louise Beamer. The two were married for over four decades and raised three surviving children, before Alma passed eighteen years ago and left him with amazing memories and a hurting heart. Mr. Bee received his Bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University, followed by a Master's in Education from Xavier University, and graduated from Salmon P. Chase Law School before passing the Bar in 1962.

He enjoyed his tenure as a lawyer as much for the opportunity to talk with people and wear a suit (with cowboy boots) as for the law. He was a member of the Northern Ohio I.O.O.F. and long-time member of Lion's Club and Lebanon Rotary. He had a love for teaching. He taught for a decade as a GM training instructor and more than two decades in Lebanon City Schools, a position which he long considered to be the best job that he ever had the privilege to have. It gave him a pulpit to tell his many war stories, recite the Sermon on the Mount (something that would never be allowed today), and teach math and science on the side.

Decades later, he would recall the names of hundreds of his students, and remember who was the fastest student on his math tests, who was the good hearted, the class clown, the astronaut's son. He would return to Lebanon schools for years after retirement to tell his war stories to many of the children of his former students. And he returned once more to teaching after his wife Alma passed, spending his 70's teaching inmates at the Lebanon Correctional Institute. He was always quick to attend a sports game of his grandchildren or a football game of the neighborhood children, with bottled water and strawberries in hand. He loved life and lived a good one. "When you're smiling, the whole world's smiling with you" and "it doesn't cost any more to be happy" were regular quotes of his, with his thinning, white hair and big smile.

Preceded in death by his beloved wife, Alma, three brothers, Bodan, Boris and Taras, and six sisters, Olga, Vera, Barbara, Iona, Mary and Katherine.

Survivors include two sons and daughters-in-law, Dr. Keith A. and Patricia Bednarczuk of Fairfield and Kenneth T. and Sue Bednarczuk of Roanoke, TX; one daughter and son-in-law, Dr. Kathryn F. and Robert Youtsler of Monroe; two sisters, Annie Campo and Martha Lewis; nine grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren (with 2 more on the way); and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held Sunday, May 19th, 5-7:00 PM, and funeral service Monday, May 20th, 11:00 AM, all at the Oswald-Hoskins Funeral Home, Lebanon. Interment will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery, Mason, with military honors provided by the SW Memorial Team. Online condolences available by visiting www.hoskinsfh.com.

Published in the Times Recorder on May 16, 2013
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