Our United States flag does not wave from the wind’s breeze. Our United States flag flies from the last breath of each American soldier who sacrificed protecting it. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life. The second fold signifies our belief in eternal life. The third fold is made in honor and in tribute to the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace. President John F. Kennedy said; “As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” Semper Fi. Francis Elmer Beach possessed the fighting Marine’s spirit to always be faithful. Elmer was “a man’s man”, chiseled from bravery, he was honorable, humble, and kind.
We’re not talking about a year. Not three or even four. We’re talking about forever. Forever always seems to be around when things begin But forever never seems to be around when it ends. Unknowingly, after 100 years, We gave away Elmer and turned him over from time to eternity. The angels have waited so long, now they have their way. He moved lightly from his home in Oaklyn to be set free of earthly bonds where his spirit shall soar like a dove, singing praise eternally.
Mr. Beach was born, one of 7 children, to William & Mary Louise (nee McGoldrick) Beach in The cradle of Liberty, Philadelphia, PA, and had spent his formative years there. His home has contributed to the manpower of our nation, fighting to uphold the American ideals of freedom as a Private First Class in the United States Marine Corps. Private Beach served in the South Pacific including time in the Philippines and Samoa, among others. There are times when we make history and there are times when history makes us, Elmer faced battlefield combat in Bougainville, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima. He was awarded a purple heart, honorably discharged, and returned home following the war to the United States to marry the love of his life, Theresa (nee Fitzgerald) on February 7, 1946. The Beach’s found their little patch of heaven in 1954, settling in Oaklyn to raise their large family of 7 children. Elmer made his career working as a steamfitter in UA Local 420, Philadelphia. Through the years he had volunteered his time with Oaklyn Fire Co. No 1., and as a baseball umpire, when his boys were young. Elmer had been a member of the Oaklyn VFW Post 4463, The Oaklyn Bettlewood American Legion Post 84, the Oaklyn Marine Corps League Detachment 1775, and always enjoyed drinkin’ beer down at the old Manor Bar.
Mr. Beach is the widower of “his girl” (the late) Theresa and was predeceased by his son (the late Francis). He leaves his lasting legacy of fidelity with his children; James & his wife Linda, Bernadette Beach, Teresa Beach Barnstead, Lawrence & his wife Lorraine, Michael & his wife Bonnie, Marie and William Malony, and Kathleen Fitzgerald Daly & her husband Donald. Elmer is the proud grandfather of 25 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 6 great, great-grandchildren. Mr. Beach is also survived and will be sadly missed by his sister Joan Meccariello, many nieces and nephews, and was predeceased by his siblings; William, Anna Mae, Helen, Charles, and James.
Relatives, friends, neighbors, legionnaires, and veterans are invited to gather with the Beach family. We’ll come together in tribute and thanksgiving on Thursday evening between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm and again on Friday morning between 9:00 am and 10:00 am at St. Joseph The Worker Parish, St. Aloysius Church 37 W. Haddon Ave. Oaklyn. We will celebrate Elmer’s life in faith with Mass of Christian Burial beginning promptly at 10:00 am. No more let life divide what death can join together. The witness of love’s reunion and the United States Marine Corps military honors will be rendered at 1:00 pm at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown. As an expression of sympathy and in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to www.t2t.org 2361 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10306, or to the Gary Sinise Foundation www.garysinisefoundation.org P.O. Box 40726 Nashville, TN 37204
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