Robert L. ‘Bob’ Beams, 90, formerly of Suomi Location, passed away peacefully early Wednesday morning, March 22, 2017 at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living in the care of his loving family and UP Home Health and Hospice.
Bob was born August 15, 1926 in Celina, Ohio to David and Mabel (Williamson) Beams, and graduated from VanWert High School in VanWert, OH, Class of 1944. Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre of Operations, including Okinawa.
Bob married his high school sweetheart, and great love of his life, Emma L. Truax, on June 7, 1945 in VanWert, Ohio. He was employed for many years as a corporate pilot. His passion was aviation, and following retirement he built his own ultralight plane and enjoyed flying his sea plane until he was 80 years old. Bob was very proud to take his very last flight with the U.P. Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. in 2013.
Mr. Beams was an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and also belonged to American Legion Post #44, Marquette, the Teal Lake Masonic Lodge #202 and the Gwinn United Methodist Church. In his free time he enjoyed photography, magic tricks, origami, surfing the web and making personalized cards for loved ones.
Surviving are his devoted wife of 71 years, Emma (Truax) Beams; three daughters: Shirley (Gordon) Rice of Gwinn, Marcia (Bruce) Wentela of Marquette and Jan (Randy) Maxedon of Hawaii; his son, Kenneth (Debbie) Beams of Marquette; two brothers: Charles (Glennie) Beams of Marysville, OH and Gene (Wanda) Beams of Findlay, OH; seven grandchildren: Scott (Beth) and Brian (Lara) Rice, Matt (Beth) Beams, Emmye (Steven) Wiig, Edmond and Elizabeth Wentela, and Keanu Maxedon; two great-grandchildren: Evelyn Rice and Emil Wiig; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Delores Humphreys.
Funeral services will be held at 5:00 pm on Monday, April 3rd at Gwinn United Methodist Church with Rev. Ronald Fike officiating. Burial and military honors will take place in the Negaunee Cemetery on Tuesday at 11:00 am. The family will greet relatives and friends from 3:00 pm until 4:45 pm at the church on Monday, at which time Masonic Lodge Rites will be conducted. A dinner reception will be held in the church hall following services. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed in Bob’s memory to the UP Honor Flight, 7480 J Road, Gladstone, MI 49837 or UP Home Health and Hospice, 510 Mather Ave., Ishpeming, MI 49849. Bob’s family extends a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Daniel Hardie and staff for their compassionate care provided.