WILLIAM O. "CHICK" BEELWilliam O. "Chick" Beel passed away on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Ely.
William O. "Chick" Beel passed away on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Ely.
He was born at Calumet Location near Ely, on Aug. 13, 1924 to Wesley and Dolly Hintz Beel.
He attended Ely schools and was a lifelong Ely resident.
He worked at Zenith Mine before joining the Army where he was with the Combat Engineers in the Philippines. He married Esther Marie Cherne on Sept. 18, 1944 in Chicago. After his discharge in 1946 he worked at Pioneer B Shaft and learned to fly. He flew for Leithold’s Seaplane Service and Al West until the planes were seized by the U.S. Govemment in July of 1953 under the Air Ban regulations.
He continued working at B Shaft until he was hired as a pilot by the U.S. Forest Service in 1955. He became Chief Pilot in 1961 and retired in July 1976. He and Esther spent many years traveling in their RV to the western states, Alaska and south along the Mississippi River until it was no longer an option.
He was a member of Ely American Legion Post No. 248, and Ely VFW Post No. 2717.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, John Wesley Beel of Ely; sisters, Berniece Quade, Duluth, and Dorothy Litfin, Walnut Grove, Minn.; and his son-in-law, John Pollock, Ely.
Besides Esther, his wife of 68 years; he is survived by his daughter, Sandra, of Blaine; two sons, Michael, of Isanti, Minn., and Robert (Gayle), of Centreville, Va., and granddaughter, Stacy (Tom) Welch, of Coon Rapids, Minn. Also surviving is his sister, Alice Bird, of Virginia, Minn., and many nieces and nephews.
SERVICES: will not be held at Chick’s request.
Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
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