James R. "Jay" Beam Jr.
1968 - 2018
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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

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Published in Charleston Post & Courier from Oct. 1 to Oct. 2, 2018.
Memorial service
02:00 PM
The Citadel Summerall Chapel
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
October 17, 2018
Jay was such a fine man. My heart goes out to his wife, children, Edwina, Jim, and siblings! You have my prayers at this very sad time.
Joanna (Lentz) West
October 11, 2018
I had the privilege of serving with Jay during his command tour at Sheppard Air Force Base. Jay was a consummate professional who loved his Airmen and treated them all with dignity and respect. I remember his wry sense of humor and his passion for doing the right thing. The Beam family should know that Jay's impact, and the example he set, live on in the Airmen he led.
Colonel (Retired) Ken Backes
October 5, 2018
My sincere condolences to the Beam family. I know this is a difficult time for the family and I pray God comforts the family during this time of bereavement. May the many cherished and loving memories of James comfort his family and friends. May you all have calming thoughts during this time.
October 3, 2018
My condolences. He was a wonderful man and team member. Hugs and prayers.
Michael Grubbs
October 3, 2018
Jay commanding at Sheppard AFB, TX in 2012
David Murphy
October 3, 2018
Jay in command at Sheppard AFB, TX in 2012
David Murphy
October 2, 2018
As a fellow Citadel Grad (Kilo 94), AF Civil Engineer and 366 TRS Commander, I send my condolences to you all. I did not know Jay very well but definitely knew who he was and heard many stories about him, especially while I was at Sheppard. He definitely made a mark in the AF as well as on many AF Civil Engineers, alike. I know he will be missed!
Ken Herndon
October 2, 2018
Jay was a wonderful colleague and friend. He gave The Citadel his all and was a true advocate for our employees. Our prayers are with his family during this difficult time.
The Citadel Human Resources Department
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