Keith Beals, age 88, of Effingham, IL, passed away on Saturday, December 24, 2016 at his home surrounded by his loving family.
According to Keith’s wishes, cremation rites will be accorded. A memorial service for Keith will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 7, 2017, at Centenary United Methodist Church in Effingham. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Private family burial will be in Arborcrest Memorial Park in Effingham, with military rites. Services are in the care of Johnson Funeral Home in Effingham.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in loving memory of Keith to Centenary United Methodist Church, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, HSHS Hospice of Southern Illinois, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Keith was born on February 4, 1928, in Shelby County, IL, the son of Dewey and Lucy (Huffer) Beals. He married Marilyn Ione Ohnesorge on March 16, 1952 at Van Treese Methodist Church in Shumway, IL.
Making music was a milestone in his life. Playing the guitar with his family and friends was always a highlight, performing old hymns and old time country and western music for fans across southern Illinois, as well as nursing homes every Tuesday in the immediate area.
His public activities included being an active member of Centenary United Methodist Church, Effingham American Legion Post 120, and the Greenland Masonic Lodge 665. He served our country in the United States Army during the Korean War Era. For him personally, he always appreciated the opportunity to plow the snow off of the neighbor’s driveways with his old Case tractor, help organize and coach the Shumway Little League, and watch his St. Louis Cardinal’s play baseball. For many he was considered a mentor and teacher.
Keith never met a stranger he did not know, and always displayed a willingness to help others in need. He was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandpa.
Keith is survived by his wife, Marilyn Ione of Effingham; sons, Kevin (Barbara) Beals of Neoga and Kurt Beals of Atlanta, GA; brother, Gene (Sharon) Beals of Effingham; granddaughters, Carly Marie (Thomas) Alarcon of Seminole, TX, Kelsy Joelle (Christopher) Mayse of Argyle, TX, and Shaina Lynelle Beals (fiancé, Nicholas Wood) of Corinth, TX; great-grandchildren, Patrick, Nicholas, Aubry, Alice, Neirin, Nate, and Delaney.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A special note of thanks to Dr. David Kowalski and the tremendous support from the staff of HSHS Hospice of Southern Illinois in Effingham.