Roderick Duane “Rod” Beer, 73, of St. Joseph, Missouri, passed away from cancer on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, with family and friends at his side.
Rod was born on February 3, 1937, in Decatur.
He was a graduate of Adams Central High School and joined the Navy in 1955, earning the rank of yeoman third class. His career as a statistical typist/supervisor of the repro typing department with Butler Graphics in Washington, D.C. spanned 1959 to 1962. With the skill he learned in the Navy, he could out-type many a lady at 100 words per minute.
He transferred to management with Butler Data Graphics in Hawthorne, California from 1963-70 and to Continental Graphics in Culver City, California from 1971-73.
Rod married Cherie Lajoie upon moving to Missouri in 1973.
He owned Lettermen’s Club for 11 years, his pride and joy. He enjoyed all who came to experience the revival of '50s, '60s, and '70s music, cookouts, antique car shows, and his all-time favorite — NASCAR! He originated the NASCAR Fan Club at Lettermen’s in NASCAR’s infancy! He knew it would be a great sport!
He just had a sixth-sense of things – could always pick the country western songs that would become hits. He loved George Jones before he was famous.
Rod loved his dogs, but especially his adopted Jack Russell, Frankie; they definitely had a love affair. He loved trout fishing in Kernville, California, and pond fishing in Indiana and playing basketball as long as age would allow. A basketball star in high school, he also had a great skill for playing pool. Cherie loved watching his body English, plus the ball English.
Rod is survived by a daughter, Lori, and husband Jeff Ryan and their child-grandson Graeham of Leawood, KS; a grandson, Shawn, and mother, Della Bartels, of Rushville, Missouri; a granddaughter, Emilie, and father Ron Bartels of Rushville; a great-granddaughter, Alexandria, and mother Tiffany Best of Atchison, Kansas.
Others surviving are a sister, Marilyn, and husband Burl Sprunger of Decatur and their children: Brenda, Brent, and Darla; a brother, Wendell, and wife Carol of Decatur and their children: Victor, Kevin, Wendy, and Brian; a sister-in-law, Catherine Round of St. Joseph, and her children: Pamela, Janice, Julia, and Gail.
Additional survivors are the children of his sister Joan: Millie and husband David Lazzer; Jeanie Hummer; and Delayne Harrell, and the children of his brother Leroy: David, Timothy, Tony, Vicki, and Teresa. All were special to him and they always, always showed great respect to Rod.
Rod was preceded in death by his parents, Leroy Sr. and Jennie (Frauhiger) Beer; his son, Hal, who passed in 2009; a brother, Leroy Jr., and wife Ginny; and a sister, Joan, and husband Tom Harrell.
Rod was a beloved husband of 37 years, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, a special good friend to many. His sweet, bright smile and ornery look will be missed.
Many thanks to hospice and to family friends Rodney Cook, John “Wiz” Nash, and Yvonne Calvert for all their sincere concern and help during Rod’s illness, greatly appreciated by Cherie and family.
Visitation with Rod’s family will be from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday at Heaton-Bowman-Smith and Sidenfaden Chapel in St. Joseph.
Rod requested to be cremated following the visitation.
Memorial gifts are suggested to be given to Hands of Hope Hospice or Noyes Home for Children.