Longtime Island City Councilor, mayor dies

February 18, 2002 12:00 am
Fred Beeman ().
Fred Beeman ().

Fred Beeman, one of the most dedicated public servants in Island Citys history, died Sunday.

Beeman, 87, died at a care center in La Grande.

He had served on Island Citys council for 30 years, 10 as mayor.

On May 20, 1998, the community of Island City saluted Beeman with a lasting tribute Island Citys park was named for him at an afternoon ceremony.

Beeman and his wife, Mary, lived in Island City most of their lives. He played an important role in developing Island Citys park, which features a sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, trees, a flag pole and restrooms.

Island City Mayor Dale De Long was among those who saluted Beemans uncommon dedication at the May 1998 ceremony.

We are honoring a person who has dedicated a big portion of his life to helping the Island City community, De Long said in 1998.

He noted that Beeman served as mayor of Island City when it did not have the staff it does now, and as a result he ended up doing some of the citys physical work.

Pastor Ted Davis of the Faith Center in Island City described Beeman at the dedication as a wonderful example of faithfulness, integrity and trust.

Beeman worked almost all his life. He was employed by Lynch Motors for 30 years and owned and operated two La Grande service stations for at least 10 years.

He was 65 when he started working for the La Grande School District as a custodian. He worked for 10 years before taking a custodial position with the Union-Baker Education Service District.

He was the custodian of ESDs central office building in Island City the last seven years of his career. He retired in 1996 at the age of 81.

He brought a real spirit of friendship to his job, said the Union-Baker ESD Assistant Superintendent Lenny Williams in a 1996 article in The Observer on Beemans retirement.

Former Union-Baker ESD Superintendent Ken Kramer also had words of praise for Beeman at the time of his retirement.

I doubt if anyone will ever care as much as Fred. ... We dont have people like Fred anymore, Kramer said in 1996.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later by Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

From Observer staff reports