BEELER, Deward Brown, age 72 years, passed away November 30, 2018 at his home after a long battle with cancer. He was born in Rockford, Illinois on May 31, 1946 to Patricia McRae Myers and was adopted shortly after into the loving home of the late Orville and Audrey (Brown) Beeler. On September 20, 1969 he married the former Rica Fedrizzi in Caspian, Michigan and she survives him.
Deward started his working career employed by Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Marquette and then in St. Charles. Following that he spent 5 years as a full time firefighter for Buena Vista. He then became self employed for 15 years selling fire equipment. Deward later rejoined state service as a Regional Supervisor for the Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council retiring in 2008. Deward served on the Tri-Township Fire Department for 46 years at the ranks of Captain, Training Officer, Assistant Chief and Safety Officer,served on the former St. Charles Area Ambulance, was an adjunct teacher of fire science at Delta and Schoolcraft College, and was a member of Order of DeMolay International. Deward was instrumental in connecting underserved fire departments with used fire equipment helping them to better serve their communities. He had a passion for the Upper Peninsula and visited friends and relatives there often. His favorite place was his hunting cabin near Watersmeet.
Along with his wife Rica and birth mother Patricia, Deward is survived by his sons, Rick (Stacy Corlew)Beeler and Mike (Marcy) Beeler; grand children, Stefan (Jennifer) Beeler, Andrew and Tabitha Beeler; great-grandchildren, Oliver Beeler and Jacob and Makenna Corlew; a sister, Jill Paul; a half-sister, Kathy (Lee) Britt Bach; sister-in-law, Bonnie (Terry) Lemire; and nieces and nephews, Chris Paul, Debbie (Brent) Millen, Mark (Holly) Lemire and Ryan (Sarah) Lemire, and daughter-in-law Tina Beeler. Along with his adoptive parents Orville and Audrey, Deward was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, John Paul.
Following Deward’s wishes, cremation has taken place and no formal services are planned. Those wishing, donations can be directed to the family to be used for an education fund for his grandchildren.