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D.R. ‘Dick’ Beeson Jr., Johnson City

Published January 10th, 2012 10:10 pm

Donald Richard “Dick” Beeson Jr., 2101 Christian Lane, Johnson City, passed away at home Monday evening, January 9, 2012, with his children by his side.
Mr. Beeson was born on December 9, 1921, and was a lifelong resident of Johnson City. He was the son of the late D.R. Beeson Sr. and Elma Rankin Beeson.
Mr. Beeson was a 1938 graduate of Science Hill High School. Following graduation, he enrolled at Duke University at the age of sixteen and received a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1942. After graduation he served his country as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during WWII.
He subsequently attended the University of Pennsylvania and received a Master of Arts degree in Architecture in 1949.
Mr. Beeson returned in 1949 to Johnson City and joined his father’s architectural practice, Beeson & Beeson Architects, which still exists today as Beeson, Lusk & Street Architects. The firm is celebrating its 100th year in business this year. An office of Beeson & Beeson was later opened in Abingdon, VA, with Charles Day as the resident partner.
Mr. Beeson served as president of the Watauga Chapter of American Institute of Architects and president of the Tennessee Society of Architects.
He is thought to hold the oldest active architectural license in the state of Tennessee. The beautiful homes, schools and buildings he designed are constant reminders of his devotion to a better community. Because of his desire to see others succeed, he enabled several young adults to complete their education in architecture.
Throughout his life, Mr. Beeson’s leadership set an example for each of us. He was a man of deep conviction and was an active, committed, and enthusiastic member of First Presbyterian Church since 1928. He served the church in many roles including: Clerk of the Session, Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, Elder and Mission Chairman. He also served the church in many different capacities as a musician, including singing in the Chancel Choir for more than 60 years and serving as pianist for many worship activities. He was a faithful Gideon, chairman of the Johnson City Preaching Mission and a member of the Board of Trustees of King College.
As a leader in our community, Mr. Beeson served in the following civic organizations: Johnson City Charter Commission, Johnson City Human Rights Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Johnson City City Commission, Vice Mayor of Johnson City, President of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, Board of Johnson City Sister Cities Organization, Board of Johnson City Medical Center, Vice President and Treasurer of Tipton Haynes Historical Society. He served as Director of Leader Federal Savings & Loan and was Chairman of the Board of Elizabethton Federal for many years.
Mr. Beeson was also the recipient of the Kiwanian of the Year 1962, Johnson City Chamber Hall of Fame in 1997 and recipient of the Spirit of Johnson City Award in 1998.
In 1932, Mr. Beeson became an Eagle Scout and later served as Scout Master of Troop 38. In 1986, he received the Silver Beaver Award and was later honored with God and Service Recognition.
Mr. Beeson was preceded in death in 2009 by his wife of fifty eight years, Helen Still Beeson; and a sister, Mary Beeson Ellison.
He is survived by a son, D.R. Beeson III, of Johnson City; and a daughter, Ann Caroline Beeson Bean and her husband, David, of Lakeland, Florida; two sisters, Ann Beeson Gouge, of Johnson City, Tennessee, and Betty Beeson Helms and husband, John, of Neenah, Wisconsin; six grandchildren, Lyn Beeson Bedsaul and her husband, Kris, of Asheville, North Carolina, Valda Beeson Hathaway and her husband, John, of Johnson City, Tennessee, Barrett Beeson, of Charleston, South Carolina, Caroline Beeson Kaylor and her husband, Blake, of Knoxville, Tennessee, Carrie Bean Stute and her husband, David, of Palo Alto, California, and Katie Bean, of Charlottesville, Virginia; five great grandchildren, Paige and Claire Bedsaul, of Asheville, North Carolina, Carter and Anna Kaylor, of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Lula Hathaway, of Johnson City, Tennessee.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the caregivers from Appalachian Christian Village.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Johnson City Organ Fund, 105 South Boone Street, Johnson City, TN 37604; or Gideons International, P.O. Box 372, Mountain Home, TN 37684.
A private interment service for Mr. Beeson will be conducted on Saturday, January 14, 2012. Active pallbearers will be: David Bean, Kris Bedsaul, Blake Kaylor, John Hathaway, Barrett Beeson, Jerry Harkleroad and Ed Campbell.
A memorial service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Saturday in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church in Johnson City. Rev. Louis Imsande will officiate. The family will greet friends at a lunch reception in the church fellowship hall immediately following the service.
Online condolences may be sent to the family via
Arrangements have been entrusted to Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 Oakland Ave., Johnson City. 423-282-1521