Roger Beals, 87, died Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, at Home Front First / Rosewood in Montevideo. Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 24, at Anderson-TeBeest Funeral Home in Montevideo. Visitation with the family will be one hour prior to the services at the funeral home.
Roger Alex Beals was born in Osmond, Neb., on Sept. 2, 1931, to Marlin and Maureen (Hixson) Beals. He was an only child, but broke the mold of the typical “only child”. He grew up playing baseball and that began a lifetime love of the sport; as most of you know, he was an avid Twins fan. He went to all seven games of the 1953 World Series in NYC between the NY Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. And just a few months ago when I asked him about it, he named the players (first and last names) and the positions they played! He described how the 7th game ended with Billy Martin, the Yankees shortstop, making the final great catch. When I pulled up a YouTube black and white clip of this and showed it to him, he looked at me and said: “Well, I just told you that happened!”
Dad went to the University of Nebraska for his BA in education and played baseball there. He became a teacher, but ended up serving in the Army, fighting in Korea for 16 months. When he returned, he taught in Iowa, but then enrolled at the University of Minnesota for his Masters in administration in education. He ended up teaching and coaching in Las Vegas, where he met Jan Vermeer. Mom was teaching in Vegas as well. (Since they met in Vegas, they used to tell people that Dad was a dealer and Mom was a showgirl.) After teaching in Vegas, he decided to go to optometry school and ended up at University of California at Berkeley. He and Mom lived in Walnut Creek, Calif., which is where Steve was born. (By the way, Dad wanted to name him Gus. Mom said “absolutely not,” so he became Steven Gus!) Before optometry school ended, he and Mom opened a map of the U.S. to decide where they wanted to live. They narrowed it down to Montana or Minnesota because they both loved the outdoors. Minnesota was the winner and they chose six towns in Minnesota. Dad took his spring break to drive out and tour those six towns.Montevideo was decided upon and they bought a house and arrived just six weeks before Sue was born. They had their boy and their girl and their family was complete.
Dad bought a building on main street in 1963 and opened his optometry office. He said there were days in the beginning that he just read the paper all day; the phone didn't ring and no one walked in. But that soon changed and he had a booming business.
And then in 1968, along came Tom. Steve and Sue used to tease that Mom and Dad didn't really want him, but somehow he became everybody's favorite.
Dad's priorities were always clear; family over work. By 1972, Dad decided to work optometry only Monday, Tuesday and Fridays. He spent the other four days of the week with his family and it was awesome.
Dad had so many interests and by rising at 4 a.m. daily, he could do it all: working in his shop building furniture, working on his stamp collection, watching and/or playing sports, visiting his parents regularly, going to church, building homes, shingling roofs and still spending a ton of time with his family.
Speaking of family: Jan (his wife) passed away on Dec. 24, 2014, but Steve, Sue and Tom are still here. Steve and Lisa live in Montevideo and have six kids, Andrew (Portland), Nick (Minneapolis), Eric (Seattle), Carly and husband, Jake, (Fargo), Ben (Minneapolis) and Jack (man of the world). Sue is in Minneapolis with kids, Guy (Los Angeles) and Paige (Milwaukee). Tom and Jess live in Dawson with Ruby and Simon (furry babies).
His kindness, his generosity, his “one-liners,” his overalls, his love of fishing, his ability to fall asleep anywhere within 10 seconds, his beard, his ever-present smile, and his overall love of life … this is what we get to take with us about Roger.
Anderson-TeBeest Funeral Home, of Montevideo, is in charge of the arrangements. (online guest book at www.andersonfuneralmontevideo.com)