Memorial services for Lillian Beelby will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, at the Coggin Avenue Baptist Church Chapel with Pastor Tim Skaggs officiating.
Lillian passed away Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009.
Lillian was born in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 26, 1914. Soon after her father, Roy Burbridge, moved the family back to the farm outside of Olathe, Kan. She spent her early years growing up on the farm with her two brothers (Jonathan and Norris now deceased) and one surviving sister, Lois (87), who lives in Sacramento, Calif. In 1933 the family moved to Fayetteville, Ark., where her mother, Ruth Burbridge, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis could receive the healing benefits of the nearby hot springs. Lillian attended the University of Arkansas for one year. In search of a better climate for their mother, the family then moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where Lillian met her future husband, Frederick Beelby Jr., an artillery officer in the U.S. Army. Together the two traveled to Lawton, Okla., and New Haven, Conn., where her husband finished his training in preparation for assignment in the war effort. Their only son, Rick Beelby, currently serving as head of the exercise and sport science department at Howard Payne University, was born in Los Angeles, Calif. Divorced in 1949 Lillian took on the role of nurturer and provider for her son and disabled mother. Lillian was very proud of the work she did for North American Rocketdyne where she received NASA’s Apollo Achievement Award in recognition for her service as a “member of the team which has advanced the nation’s achievements in aeronautics …. and culminated in Apollo 11’s achievement of man’s first landing on the moon, July 20, 1969.” Lillian retired from North American in 1981 and later moved to College Station, Texas, to live with her son and daughter-in-law Yvonneke. The family moved to Brownwood in 2001 and soon after joined Coggin Avenue Baptist Church.
Lillian was always a very caring, loving mother who looked for the best in each person she knew. She raised her son to be hard working, loyal, and to look out for the underdog. As live-in grandmother, Lillian was kind and gracious to her grandchildren. Her gentle wisdom guided them through the tumultuous teenage years. Letters and phone calls from those who knew her testify to Lillian’s unpretentious modeling of loyalty, loving kindness, patience, and joyfulness. Lillian leaves behind her son Rick; daughter-in-law Yvonneke; grandchildren Jonatan Beelby, Kris Beelby and Brittany “Kristin” Beelby all of Brownwood; sister (Lois) and many nieces and nephews. Lillian will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions be made in her memory to the Coggin Avenue Bapist Church, Vision 100/The Great Investment, 1815 Coggin Ave, Brownwood, TX 76801.