OBITUARY

Dr. James "Jim" Burton Beal, Jr.

November 22, 1932December 27, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

Dr. James B. Beal, Jr., age 88, of Jemison, Alabama, passed away on December 27, 2020 peacefully at home with his family by his side.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Margaret Louise Townsend Beal, and his parents, James Burton Beal and Elsie Mae Parrott Beal. He is survived by his 5 children, Laura Walker, Kathy Parrott, James Beal, III (Debbie), and John Beal (Beth) and Jacob Beal; 10 grandchildren and 3 step grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.

Before his long tenure teaching chemistry at the University of Montevallo, Dr. Beal worked as a research chemist, creating solid missile fuel for the government and one of the first fluorides for a major toothpaste brand.

While at UM, Dr. Beal was a favorite among science majors, known for his terse style, and uncommon wit. He served the university on many committees, and as president of UMEA. He also served for many years as the faculty advisor to the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity on campus. Dr. Beal was advisor to many pre - med, pre-dental, and pre - nursing students, as well as many chemistry majors over his tenure.

Before his retirement he was collaborating with scientists at UAB on creating a chemical tag for use in chemotherapy.

Dr. Beal retired in 1995 with emeritus status from the University of Montevallo, when he took up gentleman farming in earnest, and could frequently be seen atop his tractor in the pastures and fields. He also built an apartment, loft, and workspace in his outbuilding, after completely renovating the inside of the almost 200 year old dog trot house they moved onto the farm in 1976. Dr. Beal and his wife traveled the world, visiting India, Damascus, Ireland, Mexico and many other places in the US and the world. He was also a very enthusiastic SCUBA diver, and spent much time exploring the underwater world. He lived life to the fullest until the loss of his vision curtailed his ability to drive.

Later, he and his wife adopted their 1st great grandson, Jacob, and Dr. Beal completed the Boy Scouts' Wood Badge, and spent much time assisting with Jacob's scouting activities including hikes and camping trips.

A private memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 2:00 PM. Friends and loved ones may participate in the service virtually via livestream using the link below. The family requests any memorial donations be directed to Spring Creek Presbyterian Church.

Services

  • Virtual Memorial Service

    Sunday, January 10, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Dr. James "Jim" Burton Beal, Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Julia Boggs

January 9, 2021

Julia Boggs

January 9, 2021

Julia Boggs

January 9, 2021

Julia Boggs

January 9, 2021

Carol Thompson

January 8, 2021

Eternal rest grant upon him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest In Peace.

Julia Boggs

January 8, 2021

Pat Sprayberry

January 5, 2021

My husband, Bill, and Jim met when both of our families were at Texas A&M graduate school. Our children played together as our apartments in graduate housing were across the street from each other. Bill’s and Jim’s friendship continued through the years and iPhones allowed them to stay in contact until Bill passed away in August 2019. Jim was always a special friend.

Dwight Bentley

January 4, 2021

Dr. Beal was both a friend and mentor to me during my time at Montevallo. He was indeed a very special person and will be greatly missed. I will always treasure the special times we spent together as fraternity brothers.
Dwight Bentley
Class of 73

Susan Tomasino

December 30, 2020

I remember lots of fun family gatherings with Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Margaret, Laura, Jim, Kathy & John. As we all grew up, I don't believe I have had the pleasure of knowing Jacob. Prayers to the families.

Marty Fowler

December 29, 2020

Dr. Beal was a person of very special character. He has always been a favorite life leader. I always looked up to him, a model advisor in brotherhood and personal friend. He had a tremendous impact on my life as a young man and old. He possessed a rare coaching skill enabling him to influence many of us throughout the years.

Rest In Peace Dr. Beal, know that you will be missed and we will see you again.

Marty Fowler sr. ‘74
Pi Kappa Phi

FROM THE FAMILY

Aug 21, 1953

FROM THE FAMILY

James Sr, Elsie, and James Jr.

FROM THE FAMILY

Northern California

FROM THE FAMILY

Jacob's birthday

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY