Arthur Wray Beyer, 94 from Staunton, passed away on May 3, 2020, in Naperville, IL from Covid-19. Art was born on October 27, 1925, in Staunton to Fern (née Montgomery) and Herman Beyer.
He married Dorothy B. Church on October 25, 1946. Together they lived and raised their three daughters in Staunton. Art was a kind, gentle soul with a wonderful sense of humor. His pride and joy was his family. He lost the love of his life, Dorothy, on September 29, 2011. In 2015, he moved to Tabor Hills Supportive Living in Naperville, IL and to their Healthcare Facility in 2019 where he proudly served on the Resident Council.
Although he missed Staunton, he loved being close to his daughters, his grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He loved introducing his family and showing our pictures to the staff.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Dorothy; and his son-in-law, David Renaud.
He is survived by his sister, Cheri (Richard) Dubbelde of Kewaskum, WI; his daughters, Janice (late David) Renaud of Lisle, IL, Jane (Ken Cull) Westerhold of Schaumburg, IL and Cindy (Paul) Widuch of Lisle; his grandchildren, Michael (s.o., Leah Karpel) Renaud of Chicago, Laura (Joe Michael) Renaud of Chicago, Emily (Sebastian Rymarz) Westerhold of San Francisco, CA, Mary née Widuch (Jonathan) Gibson of Naperville, John (Erica Fenton) Widuch of Wheaton, IL, Kathy (Pierre-Vincent Certain) Widuch of Bozeman, MT, Ian (Heather) Cull of Chicago, and Jami née Cull (Andrew) Patrick of Nashville, TN; great-grandchildren, Stone Cull, Melis Patrick, Brooklyn Cull, Savanah Cull, Joshua Beyer Gibson, Samantha Hanley Gibson, Evan David Michael, Emmett James Michael, Emma Mary Gibson, Oliver Jean Certain, Axel Art Rymarz, and his 12th great-grandchild, baby Widuch due September 2020; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews.
After graduating from Staunton High School, he served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as an electrician on the USS Piedmont in the Pacific theatre. He took courses at the University of Minnesota to become an electrician. Art worked as an electrician at Shell Oil Refinery in Woodriver for 38 years. He was a dedicated hard worker, never having fewer than two or three jobs.
For many years he worked part-time at Minner’s in Staunton installing television antennas and repairing TVs and radios. He also worked at a nursery in the evenings after dinner. This explains the “Beyer Orchard” next to the house. After his retirement from Shell, he repaired musical instruments in Edwardsville. Art was a licensed real estate agent and worked for Cisler Real Estate. He was a Member of the Masonic Temple, VFW, Staunton Country Club, Musicians Union, IBEW, and the Moose Club.
However, everyone who knew him knew his passion was his music. When he was five or six years old, his mother drove a car and had an agreement with a music teacher in Livingston. She agreed to give little Arthur violin lessons if his mother would drive other students to her home for lessons – and his love for making music never waned. He could play any instrument and was in many bands from the time he was a teenager until he was ninety years old. Some of the bands include The Keynotes, The Music Makers, The Engelkes, Staunton Municipal Band, Blackburn College Concert Band, his “Garage Band” where he jammed with Elton Best and the Bauman Brothers, Don Kotzman, and he even played at times with Frankie Yankovic at the Coliseum Ballroom in Benld.
Interment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery on Thursday, May 7, at 1:00 p.m. Memorials are requested to be gifted to Tabor Hills Healthcare Facility SNF, 1347 Crystal, Naperville, IL 60563, in appreciation for the loving care he received or the Staunton Municipal Band, Local #88, ℅ Scott Fischer, 805 East Leonard St., Staunton, IL 62088. Williamson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.