Edward C. Beehler passes

May 7, 2009

Yakima, WA

YAKIMA - On the afternoon of May 4, 2009, our beloved father, Edward C. Beehler was called to Heaven surrounded by his caring family. Ed courageously fought cancer in a short battle, passing before his 84th birthday May 7.

As a young man, Ed grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota with his parents, John M. and Monica (Mosbrucker) Beehler, and his four brothers, Albert, Fredrick and Ernest, who preceded him in death, and Arthur Beehler. The family relocated to the Yakima Valley in 1937.

He was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 28, 1944 at Fort Lewis, Washington. From there he was sent to Camp Hood, Texas for 17 weeks training as a Combat Infantry Replacement during World War II. He sailed with troops on the Queen Elizabeth, arriving in Glasgow, Scotland. Through Newcastle and Liverpool, England, Ed found himself on Omaha Beach in France. Following that battle, and using truck rides and miles of walking, he reached the front lines at a small town, Creewinkle, in Germany. After many night patrols and fire fights, Ed and four others were captured near Cologne. They walked for many miles, with other POWs joining them along the way, before they were placed in 40/8 train cars and taken to a POW camp at Neubrandenburg in NE Germany. He was assigned to serve as a translator/interpreter due to his ability to speak German. In March, 1945 the Russian army was getting close to the camp, so the POWs were force-marched to Parchim. Freed by the Russians on May 5, 1945, he was transported by the Americans on May 7, his birthday, to start his way home. Ed was honorably discharged from the Army December 10, 1945, having received a World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, and a Prisoner of War Medal. He was immensely proud of his service and that of other veterans.

Edward became a baker in 1954 in Yakima, the occupation from which he retired in Othello in 1984. Ed's passion was softball, as a player, coach, and ultimately an umpire. As stated on his award from the Yakima Softball Association, "In the history of the Yakima Softball Association one name stands out above all others. Not because he was a fine ball player, which he was. Not because he was a loyal official and untiring worker in behalf of the Y.S.A., which he was. Ed is most remembered for his tremendous ability for getting things done, and treating the Yakima Softball Association as his own child. Stern at times but with a concern that displayed his love for the sport." Ed was a lifetime member of the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASAA), a member of the Washington State Softball Association since 1946, a member of the Washington State ASA Indicator Club, and Lifetime member of the Yakima Valley Umpire Association. He was the President of the Washington State Association for three years from 1968 through 1970. In addition, he was Assistant District Commissioner for nine years, District Umpire in Chief for 10 years in Yakima and five years in Moses Lake, Zone Umpire in Chief for 10 years, and Yakima Softball Association Treasurer for nine years. He found his joy in playing and coaching, but was certainly moved by the wonderful friends he made through his association with softball and umpiring.

Ed was preceded in death by his wife of 35 years, Genevieve, his mother and father, as well as his brothers Al, Fred and Ernie. He is survived by his family, including brother Art (and Helen) Beehler, his son, Patrick (and Tobi) Beehler, Robert Berger, Linda (and John) Wiley, Lyle (and Julie) Berger, John (and Doti) Berger, Mary Dixon, Lisa Smith, and Patricia (and Scott) Cleman. In addition, Ed is survived by several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

Vigil will be held Friday, May 8, 2009 at St. Paul's Cathedral Chapel at 6:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held in the Cathedral on Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to be made to the Yakima Chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).


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