Jean LaMar Thomas Beam, 97 years, passed away on 26 March 2023 in Mesa, Arizona. Jeanne was the daughter of Burke Reese and Gertrude (Collett) Thomas, born 27 May 1925 in Salt Lake City, Utah. When she was in high school, she found a letter written by her father to her sister spelling her name as “Jeanne” which she adopted for the rest of her life. Jeanne was a daughter of pioneers and found that her life mirrored theirs as she moved across many miles many times in her married life and started over at each new place.
Jeanne’s father died of tuberculosis when she was only three years old. This initiated her widowed mother, Gertrude, to move in with her parents in Holiday to help raise her four young children. Jeanne and her sister, Nancy, lived on the main floor sleeping with Grandma Collett one week and then with Mom the next week. The boys and Grandpa Collett slept downstairs.
While growing up, Jeanne’s older brother, Don, palled around with the red-headed boy down the street for years whose name was Charles (Red) Alexander Beam Jr. After being away from home for a while serving in the US Navy, Red returned from World War II to find Jeanne had grown up to become a beautiful woman. They were soon married and sealed together for all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on 11 November, 1945.
Red decided that he would dedicate his life to service in the US Navy. This started Jeanne’s adventures of moving many miles away from family and friends, birthing four children while living all over the Pacific islands, including Okinawa, Japan and living several places in California. Jeanne viewed these many years as a Navy wife and mother
as a grand adventure. She found a lot of fulfillment in music, playing card games, sewing clothes for her family, serving in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, doing genealogy research, and dabbling in various crafts. Because Red went into the infant computer industry in 1961, after serving 20 years in the Navy, Jeanne became computer literate and remained so the rest of her life which was very unusual for a woman of her generation.
Jeanne was the caregiver for her mother-in-law, Nellie Beam, for 17 years and was Red’s caregiver for many years as he was slowly consumed by emphysema. Jeanne always served her family lovingly and faithfully. Jeanne was also very charming and anyone who met her would remark to her family about what a wonderful person she was.
Jeanne is preceded in death by her only son Thomas Alexander Beam, her one sister Nancy (Douglas Edward) Schwartz; two brothers, Burke Reuben (Carol Jacobson) Thomas, and Donald Collett (Beth Young) Thomas. She is survived by three daughters, Charlene (Jerry) O’Rourke, Diane Marie (Steve) Garten, and Geraldine Ellen (Kent Hayden) Beam, 12 grandchildren, many great grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Jeanne was actively involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until her death. She held many responsible positions in the Church throughout her life but her love was music and choir. She was a loving, loyal, and faithful daughter, sister, wife and mother who loved the Lord and served Him until her death. She will be missed by her family and friends.
The family will be holding a virtual Zoom memorial service on 22 April, 2023 at 10 a.m. PDT. Jeanne will be cremated and her ashes will be buried next to her husband in Idaho Falls, Idaho at a future date.