James W. ‘Jim’ Beech

ERIE — James W. “Jim” Beech died on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at Guest Home Estates in Erie.

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

Jim graduated from Walnut High School in 1943. He then joined the Navy and served on the USS California during World War II. After the war, Jim was working as a carpenter for an Alcoa plant and living in Davenport, Iowa, where he met Mardelle Naomi Claussen. The two were married Dec. 22, 1947, at Newcomb Memorial Church in Davenport. The couple traveled to Coffeyville 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 and Mary Nevin and her husband, David, of Corvallis, Oregon; a son, Michael Beech of Topeka; a grandson, Jim Buche and his wife, Mary, of Olathe; a granddaughter, Joye Blume and her husband, Matt, of Overland Park; and two great-grandchildren, Jackson and Eli Blume of Overland Park.

The family gives special thanks to Dave Harris and Dorothy and Sam Ricketts for all of 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, memorials can be made to donors’ favorite charities.

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