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The Last Sortie

[Photo] George H. Beu

George H. Beu

6 April 2009


   George H. Beu was a life-long resident of Sturbridge, Massachusetts. He was born at the site of the current Old Sturbridge Village on February 22, 1925. He was the son of Frank C. Beu and Jessie M. (Sheldon) Beu. George died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on April 6, 2009 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
   He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Rita L. (Bonin) Beu; his three children, Douglas Beu and his wife, Lynn of Spokane, Washington, Karl Beu and his wife Patsy of Sturbridge and Patricia Beu of Guilford, Vermont; his grandchildren Jeremy Beu and his wife Jan, Jessica Melvin, Jessie Horner, Joshua Beu, Brian Beu and Devin Beu; a sister, Priscilla Reich; his great grandchildren and several nieces and a nephew. George was the brother of the late Christine Beu, Doris Hewitt and Esther Duchesneau.
   In 1943 George enlisted in the Army. He served with the Army Air Corps with the 464th Bomb Group in Africa and Europe during World War II. Later in life he enjoyed attending the reunions with his wife and the other veterans of the 464th.
   In February of 1947, he married the love of his life, Rita, in Woodstock, Connecticut. The two together built their home and raised their children on Cedar Street.
   George was active with and devoted to the Boy Scouts for many years, serving as Assistant Scoutmaster beginning in 1956 and then as Scoutmaster from 1968 to 1976 with Troop 161. In 1975 he was awarded the Silver Beaver Award for his distinguished service.
   He was a skilled and patient craftsman and contractor. George owned and operated GHB Construction until passing the business to his son Karl a few short years ago. George was involved in the construction of countless local businesses, residences and town projects, including the town hall, the town barn, and the Sturbridge Post Office. He donated his skills to the community for projects such as the gazebo on the Sturbridge Common.
   George was an avid reader, an accomplished gunsmith, loved the outdoors, his garden, his shop and spending time with family and friends. He was a proud, independent, generous and gentle man who was respected and adored by many.
   The Beu family wishes to thank the staff and caregivers from Harrington Memorial Hospital, UMass Medical Center, Overlook Hospice and Enhanced Care for the wonderful care and attention given to their husband, father and grandfather during his last months. The family also wishes to thank the numerous friends, former scouts and others who generously offered help and support throughout his last illness.
   A graveside service was held on Friday, April 10 in North Cemetery, Maple Street, Sturbridge. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701 or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105. The arrangements were under the direction of the Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home.

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