Gu-Ree “Judy” Stowe Beam was born April 12, 1933, the daughter of Georgia Ethel (Eppler) and Reverend Cecil Earl Stowe, younger sister of JoAnn Stowe (married Sullivan). She was a preemie weighing under 4 pounds. Thankfully she survived and flourished.
She graduated from Cisco High School in three years with honors. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Bethany Peniel College, now Southern Nazarene University in 1954. Also, with an impressive grade point average.
After spending a year teaching first grade in the Rio Grande Valley, Gu-Ree married William “Bill” Leroy Beam, Jr on May 14, 1955, at Harlingen Air Force Base. The next 15 years plus she spent as a supportive military wife and having four children. She lived in about 15 homes over that time – Harlingen, Austin, New Jersey, Alabama, New Jersey, Turkey, Waco, California, Panama, Missouri, Wichita Falls, and San Antonio. Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey did not have a maternity ward, so she spent two months in Ankara, Turkey to have her daughter Joanne. At the end of the stay in Turkey she and the three oldest children had to return early to the states since she was pregnant with David. The family spent several months with her parents in Texas while Bill finished his university degree. In Panama her husband Bill was hospitalized with mental illness. After several months and with only one week’s notice she and the four children moved to Missouri to stay indefinitely with her sister Jo Ann’s family while Bill was transferred to the hospital at Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls.
In 1970 Bill retired and they were able to set up house in San Antonio. Within a few months he was teaching school and the following year Gu-Ree went back to teaching. First at Colonial Hills United Methodist Church, then San Antonio ISD, then at several schools in Comal ISD, and then back at San Antonio ISD for her last 3 years teaching. Gu-Ree became certified as a bilingual teacher and Gesell (development) Screening and Assessment provider. After several years teaching kindergarten or first grade, she moved into teaching reading and then science. She loved teaching science. This is when she developed her love of butterflies and obsession with recycling. Her science students even got to be on the San Antonio news station. She had the privilege of attending the NASA training for educators in Houston.
In 1974 Gu-Ree and Bill sold their San Antonio house, built a vacation/retirement home at Canyon Lake, but rented a house in San Antonio for a few more years before they moved to Canyon Lake full time. After Bill’s death in 1999 she put the house on the market and bought a house in Boonville, Missouri to be near her sister, Jo Ann.
Gu-Ree cared about others and was involved with her churches. She tutored a neighbor child, sang in the church choir, was a church youth group leader, taught church school, and cooked at religious retreats. She served as an officer in the Lions Club of Canyon Lake and volunteered with the New Start Domestic Violence Shelter in Boonville, Missouri.
Gu-Ree was not only curious but had a sense of wonder and amazement. Since she loved traveling, once they were no longer a military family, she took vacations with Bill, her mother-in-law, cousins, and others to Europe, Mexico, and other places. One of her last fun trips was with son David and his family to the Grand Canyon. She also managed to attend the last three family reunions (New Mexico and Texas).
Not long after moving to Missouri she was diagnosed with breast cancer, went through surgeries and treatment. She battled diabetes for over 20 years. Since 2010 she had resided in Hartmann Village (Boonville, MO), The Retreat at Kenwood (Texarkana, TX), and then New Haven Assisted Living & Memory Care (Kyle, TX)
Gu-Ree was preceded in death by her husband William L. Beam, Jr. and parents, Georgia Ethel Eppler Stowe and Reverend Cecil Earl Stowe. She is survived by her beloved sister JoAnn Stowe Sullivan, daughters Charlmaine Ferguson (James L. Smith) of Florida and Joanne Hampson (Bill) of Missouri and sons James Kevin Beam (Patricia) of Colombia, South America, and David Beam (Maria) of Texas. Grandchildren J.C. and Thomas Ferguson of Texas, Natalie and Jason Hampson of Missouri. Special niece Suzanne Sullivan Holman (Michael) of Texas and nephew Ted Sullivan (Carolyn) of Missouri. Great-granddaughters Georgia and Evangeline Ferguson of Texas. Step-granddaughter Flavia Macarie-Tanasescu and great granddaughter Cinthya Tanasescu of Texas. Her husband Bill’s siblings James Lewis Beam (Vicki) of Canada and Amarintha “Rinthy” Aman (David) of Florida. And, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, and special friends. Gu-Ree will be greatly missed by family and friends.
In lieu of flowers family recommends a donation to
Bring Back the Monarchs https://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/donate/ ,
New York City Community Chorus https://nycccha.org/donate/ (her cousin Jack Eppler is director)
Breast Cancer Research Foundation https://www.bcrf.org/
Lion’s Club https://www.lionsclubs.org/en/donate
American Diabetes Association https://donations.diabetes.org
Or your church.
Condolences may be sent to family member of your choice, posted in Facebook, or left at: https://www.cremation.green/obit/gu-ree-judy-stowe-beam/
Memorial Service will be held at
11am, Saturday, August 14, 2021
Redeemer Lutheran Church
1500 W Anderson Ln, Austin, TX 78757