Lt. Col. Harold Wayne Beech

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lt. Col. Harold Wayne Beech (USAF, ret.) passed away on Feb. 23, 2015, in an assisted living facility in Annandale, Va. He was 86 years old.

A native of Lewisburg, he was born on July 1, 1928. He was the son of Wilson Collins Beech and Dessa Barron Beech. He graduated from Marshall County High School in 1946 and attended Middle Tennessee State University.

Lt. Col. Beech was a veteran of 25 years of service in the US Air Force and served as a pilot, flight instructor, and specialist in radar and other electronic detection systems. He earned the Chief Command Pilot rating in the early 1960s. A Vietnam veteran, he served there in 1968-1969. He served tours in Germany and Korea and also traveled to many diverse places including Australia, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Turkey as well as almost all of western Europe.

Upon retiring from the Air Force in 1974, he went on to successfully raise cattle near Verona. He also started a small oil and gas well business in West Virginia and served one term on the Marshall County Board of County Supervisors in the late 1970s.

He was married to the late Ruth V. Beech, daughter of A. G. Van Horn and Clelia Lowe Van Horn. After her death, he resided with son Curtiss Beech in Maryland and Virginia.

He is survived by his sister, Marinola Massey of Nashville, and his three children, Karen (Jeff) Grant of Fleming Island, Fla., Suzanne (David) Jernigan of Crossville and Curtiss (Anne) Beech of Arlington, Va. In addition, he is survived by six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at Bills-McGaugh Funeral Home in Lewisburg at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28. Burial will follow in Lone Oak Cemetery in Lewisburg with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer's Association, 4825 Trousdale Drive, Suite 220, Nashville, TN 37220.

Condolences of sympathy may be sent to

Bills-McGaugh Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.