Joe W. Beal Sr., 82, of Oskaloosa passed away late Monday evening, February 6, 2017, at the MHP Hospice Serenity House in Oskaloosa.
Joe William Beal, son of Earl Raymond and Mona Luceal (Sharp) Beal, was born January 19, 1935, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Joe was a 1953 graduate of Oskaloosa High School. He later earned an Associate of Arts Degree from the University of Iowa. January 29, 1952, while still in high school, Joe enlisted in the Air Force. He served as a tail gunner on a B-29 Bomber during the Korean War. On one of his flights, his plane was engaged by the enemy and six of the eleven crew members were killed; Joe was injured by shrapnel in his back during this fight. Following his discharge, February 24, 1957, he worked for a brief time at Pella Rolscreen, before taking a job as a fireman with the Oskaloosa Fire Department. Joe remained there until 1965 when he was hired as a Deputy State Fire Marshall and later transferred to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (presently known as the Department of Criminal Investigation). November 14, 1979, he was installed as Mahaska County Sheriff, a position he held until his retirement, January 20, 1993.
Joe married the love-of-his-life, Edna Mae Musgrove, May 29, 1964, in Oskaloosa, where they raised their six children. He was a member of the DAV Post #21, VFW Post #2237, American Legion Post #34, the Elks Lodge, Masonic Lodge #644, National Sheriff’s Association, Iowa State Sheriff and Deputies Association, and the Air Force Gunners Association. Following his retirement, Joe served as a VA shuttle driver, transporting patients to appointments. He enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s sporting events, fishing, hunting and watching NASCAR on TV.
Joe’s family includes his wife, Edna of Oskaloosa; his children and their spouses: Joe W. Beal, Jr. of Oskaloosa, Elizabeth L. and Jim Gibbons of Cleveland, TN, Alvin G. and Heidi Beal of Pittsfield, MA, Michele D. King of Des Moines, and Julie L. Ford of Eddyville. He is survived by 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, 2 step-grandchildren, 4 step-great-grandchildren, a great-great-granddaughter, Layla Stanzel and a sister-in-law, JoAnn Beal of Tracy.
In addition to his parents and parents-in-law, Joe was preceded in death by his son, Michael E. Beal; a grandson, Colter Dalton Ford; a brother, John Beal; a daughter-in-law, Mary Beal and numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces.
Funeral services for Joe will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, February 10, 2017, at Garland-Van Arkel-Langkamp Funeral Chapel with Pastor Alvern Boetsma of the Good News Chapel officiating. Burial will be in Forest Cemetery with Military Honors by the Oskaloosa Honor Guard. Visitation will begin after 11 a.m., Thursday, at the funeral chapel; the family will greet visitors from 5-7 p.m. Thursday evening. Memorials may be made to MHP Hospice Serenity House.