ONEONTA – Leon K. Beach, 73, of Oneonta, died Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at NYS Veterans Home in Oxford.
He was born on December 8, 1948 in Oneonta, son of Kenneth and Margaret Beach.
In the summer of 1962, he worked on his grandparents’ farm when his grandfather was suffering from lung cancer.
Leon attended Milford and Otego Schools and graduated from Unatego Central School in 1967. He was an accomplished track team runner and ran a mile in less than 5 minutes.
Scouts were an important part of his life. He was proud to have attended the National Jamboree in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1964.
Leon was very proud to have planted trees throughout his childhood. As a child, he helped plant 1,000 trees a year. It was such a big part of his life that in 2012 he went to Brazil and planted trees in the Amazon with Viridian.
On March 21, 1969, Leon married Janet in Keene, New Hampshire, before leaving for Vietnam.
In 1968, Leon was drafted into the US Army choosing the Artillery because his father was in the Artillery during World War II. He was proud to have served in the 101st Airborne (“Screaming Eagles” whose motto was “First in, Last out”) in A Shau Valley, Hamburger Hill.
When he returned home in 1970, Leon and Janet started their family with two children, Jeff and Kristen.
He worked in various fields including construction and as a contractor until he began his career in nursing. He graduated from nursing school, then went to work at Bassett Hospital, then at the Upstate Home for Children. He also held several private service jobs.
He was a prolific avid reader, chess player (played in the US Open Chess Tournament) and Tai Chi teacher in various venues. He was a strong believer in agriculture and sustainable living. He was proud of his efforts to raise bees and raise chickens.
Leon was a friend, advisor and great listener to many. His faith was an important part of who he was. He was associated with many churches, but at the time of his death he was associated with Main Street Baptist Church, Oneonta.
Leon is survived by his two children, Jeffrey and Kristen Beach, Oneonta; three sisters, Eleanor Conklin, New Jersey, Marie Gladstone, Good Year Lake and Nancy Gladstone, Otego; as well as several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his father, Kenneth; mother, Margaret; stepfather, Herb Gladstone; sister, Virginia Beach; and his wife, Janet Beach.
Calling hours will be 5-7 p.m., Friday, September 30, at Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand St., Oneonta. A memorial service will immediately follow at 7 p.m. with the Reverend Phil Livermore officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to either Main Street Baptist Church, 333 Main St., Oneonta, NY 13820, or Heifer International, 1 World Ave., Little Rock, AR 72202, in memory of Leon K Beach.
Arrangements are being made by Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.
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