Grover J. Beakley Jr. passed away on Nov. 13, 2018 at home in Brownwood with his family near him after a lengthy battle with cancer.
He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Jenelle Beakley; a son, Brent Beakley and his wife Karen of Odessa and their sons Chase and Tate; a daughter, Simone O’Neal and her husband David O’Neal of Burleson and their children Emma and Caleb; and his sister, Raby Womack and her husband James Womack of College Station.
He was preceded in death by his father, Grover Beakley Sr.; and his mother, Jewel Beakley.
Grover was born on Sept. 28, 1937 in Brownwood and attended Brookesmith schools graduating from high school in 1956 where he was a standout student and quarterback on the football team. He then attended Abilene Christian College graduating in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry after marrying Jenelle Peoples in 1958. They moved to Denver, Colorado where he received his Masters Degree in Chemistry from the University of Denver.
He was drafted in the US Armed Forces in 1961 when he and Jenelle discovered they were pregnant with their first child Brent and he was exempted from service but hired by the Atomic Energy Commission at Rocky Flats near Denver where he worked on a top secret program involving nuclear weapons.
After the birth of Brent in 1962, he and Jenelle moved to Dallas where he was employed by Texas Instruments. Their daughter Simone was born in 1964 after which he was recruited by 3M to oversee quality control at their new plant in Brownwood.
After several years at 3M and running an irrigated farm south of town, Grover and his family moved to Germany in 1973 to be missionaries. Upon returning to the states he spent some time in real estate before moving the family to Portland in 1974 where he was hired by the Reynolds Aluminum plant. He could only stay away from Brownwood so long and moved back there in 1975 where he was active in ranching, farming and the oil business until his passing.
In Brownwood he was very active as a member of the Austin Avenue Church of Christ where he served as an elder for 32 years as well as helping lead the congregations missions program throughout Central and South America where he traveled extensively to set up, encourage, and oversee many new evangelism efforts. His passion for evangelism and in particular spreading the Gospel in Spanish speaking countries and his hometown was apparently limitless and widely known and recognized. Even after having heart bypass surgery, melanoma skin cancer and inoperable prostate cancer in his 70’s he persisted in making trips to Honduras, Chili and Bolivia (twice) to encourage and instruct the mission workers there in spite of warnings from all of his doctors and family members. He was tireless and stubborn when it came to the Great Commission.
His two favorite “hobbies” were cycling and ranching. He was an avid and extreme athlete his whole life including well into his late 60’s participating and completing many bike races of which several were 100 miles in distance.
Other than his passion for his wife and his faith, he was also a professional grandpa to his three grandsons and one granddaughter and spent hundreds of hours with them in all sorts of fun adventures that only grandparents and grandkids can participate. He and Jenelle took their whole family on many, many trips around the world where Grover could outlast even the grandkids.
After a 10-year struggle with cancer he spent the last three months at home surrounded by his family and friends and loved ones, some of whom drove great distances to thank him for his contribution to their lives.
He will be missed by many.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday Nov. 16 at Heartland Funeral Home in Early, with services at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Austin Avenue Church of Christ in Brownwood.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that any donations be sent to the Austin Ave Church of Christ Missions work. Condolences, memories and tributes can be offered to the family online at heartlandfuneralhome.net.