James Robert Beemer, 70, peacefully passed away in his home surrounded by his family on January 25, 2016. James was born to Horace and Agatha (Farrens) Beemer in Clarinda, Iowa on June 25, 1945. He graduated from Bedford (IA) High School in 1964 where he was a three sport letterman. James then attended Northwest Missouri State University, graduating with degrees in business administration and industrial arts education. While attending NWMSU, James was a member and later president of Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity and a member of Blue Key, a scholastic fraternity.
Upon graduation, James accepted a teaching position with Lawson (MO) School District. In October of 1968, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in Vietnam until 1970. During his career in the armed forces James attained the rank of sergeant and received several medals including the Bronze Star, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
After returning from the service he accepted a position teaching industrial arts in Chillicothe. It was during his tenure as an employee of the Chillicothe School District that he met Marcia Fern Mossbarger. The two were married on September 5, 1971. The couple welcomed the arrivals of daughter Shelley Ann in 1974 and son Jeffrey Lloyd in 1977. In 1975, James decided to change careers when he purchased the Brown’s Clothing Store and christened his new haberdashery Beemer’s. It was through this venture that many people were able to witness and experience his warm and caring nature while preparing for weddings, proms, or through the purchase of a sport coat or letter jacket.
An avid pilot, his love of flying led James to serve on the Chillicothe Airport Board for several terms. James was also an active member of United Methodist Church of Chillicothe for forty-five years where he held many committee positions. His roots in education also led him to serve two terms on the Chillicothe School Board and was a beloved coach of many of his children’s youth athletic teams. He was a member of Chillicothe Elks #656 as well as many other community activities leading up to his most recent Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce.
James was preceded in death by his parents, brother Jack, brother-in-law Jim Mathew, mother-in-law Doris Mossbarger, and two nephews Joseph Adams and Michael Cavanah. He leaves his wife of 44 years, Marcia, two children and spouses Shelley (Bill) Hayen and Jeffrey (Hillary) Beemer of Chillicothe. James was a beloved grandfather of five grandchildren: Ben, Brad, and Abbey Hayen and Hadley and Brynley Beemer of Chillicothe. Other survivors include sisters Judy Mathew of Chillicothe; Janet (Lanny) DeMott of Bedford, Iowa; and Jo Ellyn (C.B.) Adams of Lenox, Iowa; sister and brother-in-law Shane and Cheryl Cavanah of Marceline and father-in-law Lloyd Mossbarger of Chillicothe. James was uncle to nineteen nieces and nephews including Todd (Mary) Mathew, Brad (Sarah) Cavanah of Chillicothe and Trey Cavanah of Richmond.
A few short paragraphs cannot encompass anyone’s impact and influence on the lives that he or she has touched and James is no exception. His family and friends will greatly miss his warmth, compassion, and humor.
Memorials in honor of James Beemer may be made to the James R. Beemer Memorial Fund. The fund will be used to purchase letter jackets, patches, and tuxedos for students needing assistance or for a lighted airplane memorial at the Festival of Lights. Make checks payable to the James R. Beemer Memorial Fund and designate which option on the memo line. On line condolences may be left at www.heritage-becausewecare.com
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 29, 2016 at Chillicothe United Methodist Church.
Burial will be at Edgewood Cemetery, Chillicothe
A visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at the Chillicothe United Methodist Church.
Arrangements are under the direction of Heritage Funeral Home, Chillicothe MO.