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The Western Star, May 7, 1964.

Ross Beeley Dies Suddenly

Funeral services were held at the Methodist church in Coldwater on Saturday, May 2, 1964 at 2 p.m. for Ross Portland Beeley who passed away on Thursday, April 30, 1964 in the Comanche County Hospital following a one day illness.

Rev. Major W. Parker of Ashland and Rev. A. Fred Messer officiated. Mrs. Hazel McMurray was the organist. The high school Mixed Ensemble under the direction of Myrel Rich sang, "Rock of Ages" and "Be Still My Soul."

Pallbearers were Bill Herd, Renous Allen, Lynn Haas, Victor Einsel, Norman Hadley and Clayton Sherman.

Interment was in the Crown Hill Cemetery, Coldwater, Kans.


Ross Portland Beeley, son of J. Lynn and Frances Beeley was born August 27, 1926 at the Beeley farm southeast of Coldwater, Kans., and died April 30, 1964.

Ross was baptized in and united with the Methodist church of Coldwater as a young child. He attended grade and high school in Coldwater, graduating with the class of 1944.

He was also a member of Comanche Lodge No. 295 A. F. & A. M. and the American Legion.

He was married December 3, 1944 to Betty Jean Betzer and to this union were born a son, Ronald Lynn and a daughter, Ellen Frances.

He served two years in the U. S. Navy during World War II. During the latter part of his service, the ship upon which Ross served exploded. Ross having stepped off on land, was one of the few survivors. He was sent back to the states immediately and honorably discharged.

Ross was preceded in death by his father, J. Lynn Beeley, in 1946. His memory will be cherished by his wife, Betty Jean, his son Ronald Lynn, his daughter, Ellen Frances of the home; his mother, Frances Ellen Beeley-Lewis and stepfather, Marvin Lewis, of Valley Center, Kans.; his sister, Maxine Emerson of Pratt, Kans.; his grandmother, Mary Ellen; his step-brother, Larry Lewis, Manhattan, Kans.; and stepsisters, Carolyn Currant of Topeka and Betty Lewis of Dalhart, Texas, other relatives and many friends.

Ross was beloved by the whole community and his memory will be cherished by all who knew him. He enjoyed life to the fullest, believed in God, established a Christian home and practiced his high principles everyday of his life.


Out of town friends and relatives who attended the Ross Beeley funeral included the following: Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Swearington and Mr. and Mrs. Clifford McKinney, Amarillo, Texas; Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Carthrae, Mr. and Mrs. Orland Vermillion and Mr. and Mrs. Harold Veatch, Wichita; Major Jesse T. Moores and sons, Terry and Steven, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Thompson, Randall, Richard, Rosemary and Ruthann, Arkansas City; Calvin Emerson, Tom and Tedd, Pratt; Mr. and Mrs. Bob Wood, Jetmore; Mr. and Mrs. Alie Loewen, Ulysses; Mrs. Sam Butterfield and Mrs. Fred Anderson, Hutchinson; Mr. and Mrs. Felix Wasinger and Mrs. Kate Orr, Halstead; Major Carl Gray, KHP, Topeka; Captain Kenneth Nelson, KHP, Garden City; Lieutenant Galen Bennett, KHP, Norton; Trooper Glen R. Clopton, KHP, Pratt; Trooper Lloyd Mucklow, KHP, Greensburg, Trooper Enos Hadley, KHP, Larned; Trooper Norman Anderson, KHP, Kinsley; Mr. and Mrs. Bob Van Vranken and Darryl, Meade; Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Merrihew, Hardtner; Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Merrihew, Hardtner; Larry K. Trummel, Manhattan; Mrs. Lloyd Beagley; Mutt Thornhill, Mrs. Jay Overocker, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Don Kerstetter, Protection; Cheryl Griffith, Winfield; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Current, Topeka; Mr. and Mrs. Larry Lewis, Manhattan; Betty Lewis, Dalhart, Texas.

Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Link, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mrs. Victor Willard, R. C. Day, Greensburg; Rodney Einsel, Hays; Mrs. O. L. Ring, Loren Ring, Dodge City; Mr. and Mrs. Tom Wagnon, Sun City; Mrs. Glenn J. Mark and Beth, Hutchinson; Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Denney and Terry, Holyoke, Colo.; Mr. and Mrs. Lonnie Emerson and Roger, Kingman, Kans.

The Western Star, February 8, 1946.

Terrific Explosion of Ship Alongside Kills Many

Ross P. Beeley, S1c, who was a member of the LGT 1414 before it's being put out of commission January 2, 1946 in letters to his wife and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Beeley of Coldwater, writes of a terrific explosion off Okinawa. We quote in part from letters, written soon after the explosion:

      "I experienced the worst thing today that I have ever did in my life. I guess you heard of the explosion here at Okinawa. Our ship went up with it. We were right along side the one that blew up. Here's the story.
      First, I'm all right. Hardly got a scratch, so don't worry.
      We had pulled into the beach for New Year's. There were four LCT's and three LST"s. The one right next to us was loaded with 500 and 700 pound bombs.
      As the shells started exploding the order was given to abandon ship and all but the skipper and my buddy left. We were just getting ready to retract from the beach when this ship right beside us started smoking. The skipper ran over and started throwing water on the fire. It hadn't been smoking very long when it all went up at once. It blowed the one beside me into half and almost cleared our deck. The skipper and the best kid I ever knew was on our ship when it blew. I saw the kid afterward and there was an engine on top of him and he was completely burned.
      I was walking about 25 yards from where it blew, it knocked me down. I got up and started running. I could see everything flying around me. I got down behind a pile of wire until things stopped flying, then I got up and started running again. I looked beside me and there was our cook with his head bleeding. I got the blood stopped by taking off my T shirt and using it.
      They got me to try to identify some of the bodies. One big anchor was found 200 yards from the explosion. I haven't one thing left. I don't even have on a shirt. I have only a pair of shoes and a pair of pants. I am just thankful I am here today, but my buddy isn't. The good Lord just had his hands on me, that's all. Never stop praying for this fellow.
      This all happened about 4 o'clock this afternoon. We are staying at a Seabee camp tonight. I hope they send us home, but that is a slim chance. We have no ship to go back to, that's sure.
      There was a mass funeral and we carried our own dead. They were buried nine at a time. I don't know when the rest will be buried.
      I have now been reassigned to LCT 1266, temporarily.
With love,

Frances Reola (McKinney) Beeley, mother of Ross P. Beeley.

J. Lynn Beeley, father of Ross P. Beeley.

William Ellsworth Beeley, grandfather of Ross P. Beeley.

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