Monday, August 22, 2016

RIP "Beamy" Beamesderfer WWII PathFinder and Paratrooper

The El Paso Community and indeed the United States lost a warrior when Maynard L. "Beamy" Beamesderfer passed away last week. A World War II Paratrooper making a combat jump into Normandy on D-Day, Beamy was also a Pathfinder jumping into Operation Market Garden.

"Beamy" was born 92 years ago in Lebanon, PA. the first born child of LeRoy & Helen Beamesderfer. He had four other siblings, Marion, Christine, Kenny and Janice. In 1939 his family visited the New York World's Fair where Beamy was given an opportunity to ride the Lifesavers Parachute Jump. He was so taken by the ride, that he decided he wanted to be a paratrooper and enlisted in the US Army on July 17, 1942.

Following basic training he qualified to serve in the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, as a Pathfinder. They were the first US troops on the ground on D-Day. Beamy survived Operation Overlord and went on to jump in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge where he was severely wounded and left for dead. He spent the next several years in and out of Veterans hospitals.

After his recovery he married his childhood sweetheart (his "angel Mimi") in 1947 and they remained married until her death in January 2016 (69 Years). Mimi and Beamy raised their family (Carey, Carole & LuAnn) in Lebanon, PA until they reached adulthood. During that time, Beamy worked for several years as an Electrician/HVAC Mechanic for the Bethlehem Steel Co., and served as a volunteer Boy Scout leader. He enjoyed coin collecting, camping, visiting with family, and watching the Philadelphia Eagles play football. He was always working around the house, fixing, repairing and remodeling.

When Mimi & Beamy became "empty nesters" they sold their home; lived and traveled in various RV's for 5 years; travelling the country. In 1977 they bought a home and settled in El Paso. Beamy volunteered much of his time helping neighbors and friends with his trade skills. He was an outstanding "handyman" and everyone knew it.

Beamy & Mimi joined UPC Church family when they moved to El Paso. Beamy was a leader in the construction and major expansion of the church facilities in the late 1980's. In the 1980's he also joined the Benavidez-Patterson All Airborne Chapter as one of its founding members. Together with several other highly decorated veterans, Beamy helped build, develop, and maintain the chapters headquarters, which was later renamed "BEAMESDERFER HALL" in his honor. The chapter awarded him numerous decorations, medals and plaques for his meritorious and heroic military service to our country.

He was a proud soldier, great American and avid collector of military memorabilia. Beamy is survived by his three children (Carey & wife Donna) (Carole Green & husband David Green) and (LuAnn Wieland), along with 11 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren, and his siblings Marion & Janice.

Beamy was a highly decorated war veteran, but first and foremost he was a kind & loving husband to Mimi; a strict father dedicated to making sure his children understood and valued hard work, fair play and Christian values. He loved being around his close friends, fellow bridge players, grandkids and others with whom he could share his story. His family particularly enjoyed the times when he & Mom would play cards with us. He was a true "survivor," a man who had to deal with his war injuries and other health concerns. He lived most of his life with two artificial knees, an artificial shoulder and a pacemaker.

His was surrounded by family in the last few hours of his life, who heard him mumble "I'm too dumb to die" and "Did I do good?" The answer to his last question is obvious. Yes, and thank you dad/Beamy, for a life well lived and for what you've done for all of us.

A memorial service will be held at University Presbyterian Church, 244 N. Ressler on Thursday August 25 at 4:00pm. Donations in lieu of flowers should be sent to the Benavidez-Patterson All Airborne Chapter. A military grave site service will be held on Friday, August 26 at 9:00am at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.

Article from the El Paso Times

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