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James W. “Jim” Beech

James W. (Jim) Beech died on Wednesday, May 27th, 2021 at Guest Home Estates in Erie, Kansas.

Jim was born on February 22, 1926, to James E. Beech and Nettie H. Hoagland Beech in Walnut, Kansas.

Jim graduated from Walnut High School in 1943. He then joined the Navy and served on the USS California during WWII. After the war, Jim was working as a carpenter for the Alcoa plant and living in Davenport, Iowa, where he met Mardelle Naomi Claussen. The two were married on December 22, 1947, at the Newcomb Memorial Church in Davenport. The couple traveled to Coffeyville, Kansas for their honeymoon.

They moved to Kansas in 1949 and built a house in Erie in 1956. Jim and Mardelle were married for 72 years.

Jim worked for the Soil Conservation Service, retiring in 1984. He also built houses with his construction partner Everett Shields. Jim enjoyed restoring old gas engines, eating extremely sharp cheddar cheese, and growing a bountiful garden. He and Mardelle often took road trips in search of the best pie in Kansas after his retirement.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife Mardelle; Jim is survived by two daughters – Susan Buche and her husband, John, of Louisburg, KS, Mary Nevin and her husband, David, of Corvallis, Oregon; one son – Michael Beech, of Topeka, KS, one grandson – Jim Buche and his wife, Mary, of Olathe, KS; one granddaughter – Joye Blume and her husband Matt, of Overland Park, KS, and two great-grandchildren – Jackson and Eli Blume, of Overland Park, KS.

Special thanks to Dave Harris and Dorothy and Sam Ricketts for all their help during difficult times. Jim and Mardelle were fortunate to have such good friends and neighbors.

At Jim’s request, there will be no formal services. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity in his name.

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