William (Beech) Beecham passed away on Monday, April 4
, at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home surrounded by his loved ones. He was 84 years old.
Bill or Beech as his friends and family called him, was born June 26, 1931 in Glasford, IL to parents Hannah E. (Young) and Clarence Beecham who preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death are two brothers Quentin L. and Clarence R. Beecham, and one sister Charlene Beecham. Bill met and married Ina (Probyn) Beecham on December 2 nd 1950 at the Baptist Church in Glasford, IL. They were married 65 years.
Bill attended high school in Glasford, IL where he graduated in 1949 as Valedictorian of his class. He then began his work as a trainee at Caterpillar in their three year combined management program for office and factory development. His three year program was delayed with his two year service in the U.S. Army where he was discharged in 1955 as Sgt. First class regimental supply Sergeant of the 11 th Armored Calvary Regiment 5 th U.S Army.
Bill was an avid Bradley University Basketball fan, holding season tickets for 33 years and St. Louis Cardinal Baseball fan having attended Cardinal Spring Training for many years in Florida. He was also an active baseball player playing many years for the Caterpillar tractors semi-pro team in the Sunday morning league and the U.S Industrial Baseball League. He concluded his playing days playing for the U.S. 5 th Army Baseball team at Fort Knox, KY. As his many golf friends knew, Bill was a long time legacy member of Arrowhead Country Club joining in 1978.
Bill retired from Caterpillar in 1994 after 44 years of service with numerous management positions. His last position was Director of Worldwide Mining Sales. His daily work took him most places in the world such as China, Russia, Australia, Latin America, and all over the U.S.
Surviving are his devoted wife Ina (Probyn) Beecham, his daughter Billie Munge (Steve) of Dunlap, granddaughters Jodi Jones (Ryan) of Dunlap, Beth Jones (Larry) of St. Louis, MO, and grandson Kevin Munge (Ashley) of Metamora as well as great-grandchildren Connor Jones and Kennedi Jones.
The family would like to thank all the wonderful staff at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice home who took such loving care of him the last six weeks of his life. As per his request there will be no public funeral services. Instead, there will be a private visitation, burial and celebration of his life for the above family members listed. Please direct any donations to the Baptist Church in Glasford, IL or the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Clary Funeral Home, 3004 West Lake Avenue, in Peoria .