Ralph Earl Beam died peacefully at Johns Hopkins Hospital with his loving wife, Vivian, and favorite sister-in-law, Mary Grogan, by his side on Saturday, September 5, 2020. Born in Weston, WV on November 12, 1946, he was the son of the late Ralph and Pearl James Beam.
Ralph, better known as Buddy, Uncle Bud, and Grandpa, by family and friends, is survived by Vivian Grogan Beam, his wife of 40 years; sibling Ruby Beam Ware; sons Ronnie Beam and Matthew Beam (Melanie); stepsons Ronald Scott Gibson (Jennifer) and Timothy Brian Gibson; step-grandchildren Dakota, Chase, Sierra Gibson, Joslyn Gibson Kershaw (Ethan), Jaelyn and Barrett Gibson; step-great-grandchildren Braelynne Gibson and Dayton Kaspar.
In addition to Buddy's parents, he was preceded in death by mother-in-law Ruth McKinney Grogan, father-in-law William Samuel Grogan, brother-in-laws Delmas Ware, Dennis McKinney, Milton Zabora Sr, and Michael W. Pauley; sister-in-laws Evelyn Mills White McKinney, Susan Grogan Zabora, and Maxine Grogan Brehm.
Buddy will be greatly missed by many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Buddy worked at 84 Lumber Company while attending City College High School in Baltimore, MD. Upon graduation, Buddy was hired by the International Paper Company. He worked there until he was drafted in 1966. A new world opened up to him when he joined the Navy. In 1969 Buddy received an Honorable Discharge, remained in the active reserves for two years, and returned to work with the International Paper Company, staying with them until the company closed.
Buddy then moved to Stromsburg, Nebraska to marry Vivian, the love of his life, on May 17, 1980. Together they built a new life and gathered many precious and happy memories. For the next 19 years Buddy worked for Kroy Industries in York, Nebraska. In 2000 Buddy and Vivian returned to the Baltimore area to help care for Vivian's aging parents. Between 2000 to 2008, Buddy held various jobs, two of which were his favorite, that being a forklift driver and a pharmaceutical delivery truck driver.
Buddy enjoyed his retirement years despite occasional health issues. This time allowed him the opportunity to watch all the politics and old murder mysteries he wanted. Sitting quietly with his treasured companion, Buffy, by his side made his world somehow feel right. But it was his special friendship with their neighbor, Phil Wheelden, that Bud looked forward to. Buddy never quite knew what Phil might have up his sleeve, a delicious meal or a treat for Bud and Vivian or for Buffy. Also, often assisted with small tasks around their house... But even more than these acts of kindness, most precious to Buddy were the hours that Phil spent talking. Just the two of them.
Plans are still pending at this time.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made In Memory of Ralph Beam to St.Jude's Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl., Memphis, TN 38105
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