(a partial obituary was published on June 27, 2013 this full obituary was published on July 3, 2013)
Funeral services were held at the First Congregational Church in Woodstock on June 29 for William Chester Beebee, who died peacefully, surrounded by family, at the age of 91 at the Brookside Nursing Home in White River Jct. on June 24. Rev. Norman A. Koop officiated.
Bill was born at home with his twin sister on Jan. 20, 1922 in Woodstock, son of Frederick Paul and Harriet Mongeau Beebee.
His home was located on the backside of Mt. Tom, on a farm owned by Billings estates for whom his father worked. In 1935, a house fire destroyed Bill’s home, and they moved to a residenence on Route 4, (currently the site of the Woodstock Insurance Company.) He graduated from Woodstock High School with the class of 1940.
After attending a machining trade school in Middlebury, Bill started working for Bryant Chuck and Grinding Co. in Springfield. In 1944, during World War II, he enlisted for pilot training in the Army Air Corp. However he was assigned to the 8th Air Force Bombing Station in England as a tail gunner with the B-17 Bomber “Flying Fortress.” He was honorably discharged in 1946 at the rank of Sergeant.
Post war, Bill returned home and married Ruth Ellen Robinson of Bridgewater on June 7, 1947. Bill returned to work as a nighttime machinist for 17 years while holding down a second job working as a carpenter part-time for Harry Shallies of West Woodstock. In the 70s he finished at Bryant and maintained his career in carpentry for more than 40 years. He worked for several other area contractors building many of the structures and homes in the Woodstock and the surrounding area. He also worked for several years as a custodian at the First Congregational Church of Woodstock.
Growing up in the height of the Depression gave Bill an appreciation and enthusiasm for the simple things in life. He taught his children to appreciate nature and the time spent with family. He loved to play card games, croquet, and badminton. On Saturday nights his family remembers singing old-time songs while he played harmonica and guitar. He took his family on excursions to Barnard Lake, beaches in Maine, Camp Wihakowi Christian Family Camp, and other well-remembered trips. He was a hard worker, meticulous with his professional work as well as with his lawn and gardens, taking pride in a job well done.
Bill will be remembered by his friends and family for his good-natured sense of humor and zest for life. He was a well-known and beloved member of the Woodstock community, a longtime member of the Green Mountain Grange and of the Woodstock First Congregational Church.
He was a dear husband, father, brother, and friend and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Bill, dad, may God keep you in his care—we will miss you.
Bill is survived by his sister, Adine Beebee of Southwick, Mass., his wfie Ruth (Robinson) Beebee of 66 years, and his six children, Rhonda Bruce and husband Daniel, Mary Ellen Schwartz, Myron Beebee and wife Kelly J., Lenora Beebee, Doreen Streeter and husband David Sherman, and Frederick Beebee. He also leaves behind his grandchildren, Matthew Murphy, Katie Schwartz, Joshua and Timothy Streeter, Kelly S. Beebee, Joshua McGary, Sarah Freeman and great grandchild Nathan (Freeman) Cooper.
He was predeceased by his parents; his twin sister, Mae; a brother, who died at a few days of age; and a grandson, Michael.
This obituary first appeared in the July 3, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
To leave condolences, thoughts or stories, please comment below.
To see more obituaries click here.