Memorial for Beach today

Marlene Brueggemann

Bowling Green attorney Kelly Thompson Jr. remembers his friend Bennie Beach Jr., whom he’d known since grade school, as a very perceptive, positive, wise and peaceful person.

When Beach died on March 25 from cancer, he impressed Thompson with his willpower.

Beach insisted on going back home when he was taken to a rehab facility after a seizure and again when he was taken to the hospital to die, Thompson said.

“I haven’t seen anybody go that way,” Thompson said.

Beach worked for Western for almost 20 years as program coordinator and Campus Activities Board adviser. He was a cofounder of the University Center Board, which later became CAB.

CAB will host a memorial service for Beach at 3 p.m. today in DUC Theater. Garland said they plan to bring in a bagpiper and show a slideshow.

The floor will also be open to anyone who wants to tell a story or say something about Beach.

Beach is survived by his wife Marlene and his daughter Hanna. He was 51 years old.

CAB assistant Azurdee Garland worked for Beach for a year before he left work in September. Garland said she most vividly remembers the random stories that Beach used to tell and his humor.

“He had an infectious laugh,” Garland said. “Wherever you were in the office and you heard his laughter, you wanted to find out what was going on because you knew something good was happening.”

Marlene Beach said that, as a child, Bennie Beach read the encyclopedia for entertainment and retained the most intricate information.

“It was like a file cabinet in his brain,” she said.

Marlene Beach said that even though her husband had a master’s degree, all he wanted to do is sit in his office and work with students.

Hanna Beach said her father had a passion for cooking and cleaning, and that he was a perfectionist.

“He was very inspirational, especially when it came to music and art,” Hanna Beach said. “He has taught me more than any teacher has ever taught me.”

Reach Marlene Brueggemann at [email protected].