Eugene R. “Gene” Beal
January 17, 1926 ‒ November 12, 2012
BUTLER: Gene Beal knew, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…think on these things.” Paul’s admonition to the Philippian church became his life verse. In many ways, Gene’s melodious heart sang of Christ’s love. Gene humbly served his friends and family and lovingly sang praises to God. At a young age, Gene once said, “since falling in love with Jesus, it changed my whole life.” Covered by Christ’s saving grace, Gene’s love for the Lord will forever continue. On Monday, November 12, 2012 Eugene R. “Gene” Beal passed away in the Emergency Department of MedCentral Mansfield Hospital. He was 86.
Gene was born January 17, 1926 the son of Gus and Dorris (Phipps) Beal and was a lifelong Butler resident. He was graduated from Butler High School in 1945, where he played basketball with the Butler Bulldogs, which lead to his induction in the Clear Fork Valley Athletic department Hall of Fame. A talented first baseman, for a short time, Gene also played for the House of David, a farm team for the Chicago Cubs. Gene coached little league baseball and was also a Scout Master.
As a teenager, Gene first met his best friend and future bride, Donna Lotz at the Sertell Hotel restaurant in Fredericktown, where Donna was a waitress. On July 16, 1949 the two were married. Throughout their lives, Gene and Donna were inseparable. They enjoyed square dancing at local grange halls and also roller skated at the coliseum in Mansfield. Even a trip to the grocery store couldn’t separate the two. Gene was a devoted husband, who in serving Christ, served his wife and family.
His family’s spiritual leader, Gene provided a sense of security to his children. Positive and encouraging, his love was unconditional. Gene was also a man of his word, never breaking a promise.
Gene loved singing and was first involved with a barbershop quartet in Mansfield. He loved the barbershop sound, and in the 1960’s formed the well known gospel quartet, The Harmonaires. Gene sang lead and continued singing for over 30 years, often including his children and grandchildren in local performances.
Gene worked for The Martin Hardware Company in Mansfield for over 49 years, retiring as Vice President. He also operated a sweeper repair business from his home.
The more involved Gene was, the happier he became. Gene was a member of Palmyra Church of Christ where he served as Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, and sang in the choir.
He is survived by his wife Donna (Lotz) Beal; a daughter Marsha Beal and a son and daughter-in-law Mark & Sue Beal all of Butler; grandchildren Tamara & Alex Rodriguez of Columbus, Gordon Matthew & Kate Eyster of Shelby, Lindsay & Ted Hollinger of Mansfield and Josh Beal and Justin Beal both of Athens; great grandchildren Nic and Max Eyster; a sister Joan Russell of Shelby; a sister-in-law Delee Beal of Mansfield; numerous nieces and nephews and a large extended family.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers Max, Gus Jr., Charles, James and Dennis; and sisters Betty Hershner and Sarah Godra.
The Beal Family will receive friends Friday, November 16, 2012 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home where a worship service, giving glory to God for the life of Gene Beal will be held Saturday at 11 am at the funeral home. Evangelist Troy Northrop will officiate. Burial will follow at Zion Cemetery near Butler.
Contributions in Gene’s memory to Palmyra Church of Christ may be made at the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Beal family, and private online condolences to them may be made at: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com