William Benjamin “Bill” Beam Jr., 83, died of natural causes at his Baker City home on June 12, 2009.
At Bill’s request, there were no services. Disposition was by cremation.
Bill was born on Sept. 21, 1925, at Muskogee, Okla., to William Benjamin Beam and Harriet Lambdin Beam. He attended the University of Oklahoma at Norman, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.
Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II, but was discharged after a plane crash. He returned to civilian life, where he embarked on a distinguished career in residential, commercial, and industrial construction.
In 1978, Bill made Baker City his permanent residence as construction manager for the Ash Grove Cement Plant in Durkee. Among the other projects to which Bill contributed expertise as construction manager were the Oregon State University administration building; Valley River Center at Eugene; the Weyerhaeuser complex at Springfield; bulk mail processing center at Federal Way, Wash.; Trojan Nuclear Power Plant at Rainier; the grain storage facility at Longview, Wash.; Champion International paper mill at Missoula, Mont.; Boeing’s 747 wing riveting machines at Seattle, Wash.; and oil drilling and processing module projects at Tacoma, Wash., and Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
His final project prior to retiring in January 1989 was an oceangoing fish processing facility in Tacoma, Wash.
Over the years his employers included Manhattan Construction in Oklahoma; CH2M Hill in Corvallis; Hoffman Construction in Portland; and Wright-Schuchart-Harbor Construction in Seattle.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Dorothy; and brother, Richard.
His wonderful stories will be missed by his son, Sidney L. Beam of Corvallis, and his wife, Anna Marie; two daughters, Lowrey Beam Colomb of Corvallis and Shanti Beam of Beaverton; four grandchildren, Jesse, Adam, and Sadie Beam and Alex Colomb, all of Corvallis; and good friends from Baker City, Randy and Mary Ellen Daugherty and their children, Gretchen and Kathryn.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 01, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor