Obituary of Richard Beach
Richard E. Beach, 77, of Lawrenceville, died peacefully on Wednesday October 3, 2018 after a long journey with Parkinson’s disease.
Mr. Beach was a beloved health and physical education teacher in the Lawrence Township Public Schools for 42 years. He was a graduate of Trenton High School, Class of 1959, received his B.A. from Trenton State College in 1963 and his M.A. in Health Education in 1971.
He began his teaching career traveling from school to school working out of the trunk of his car until the opening of Lawrence Intermediate School where he spent the remainder of his career. He was best known for his unique teaching style which relied heavily on personal stories to illustrate various principles of health education. In addition to classroom teaching, Mr. Beach believed strongly in the value of exposing students to the natural world and was the Director of Outdoor Education for Lawrence Public Schools from 1965 to 2005. An avid fly fisherman, he started an afternoon Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Club at the Intermediate School. He was a member of the LTEA Scholarship Committee for 14 years and his teaching efforts were rewarded with the Governor’s Teaching Award in 2002. Over the course of his career he supervised 48 student teachers and taught over 12,600 students.
Mr. Beach enjoyed maintaining bonds with students who passed through the Intermediate School for years afterward. With that goal in mind, he was an enthusiastic supporter of Lawrence Middle and High School sports teams. For over 20 years he served as Equipment Manager for the Lawrence Schools and he could frequently be seen volunteering at Lawrence High School football games. He was also instrumental in the development of the Lawrence High School’s “Project Graduation”, and he served as the Recreation Coordinator for that event for 12 years. In 2011 he was inducted into the Lawrence High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
After his retirement, Mr. Beach continued to be active in his community by volunteering as an escort at St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center where he provided 1000 hours of service. In addition he became a certified member of the Community Emergency Response Team also known as CERT in 2006.
Son of the late Benjamin and Mildred Johnson Beach and brother of the late Alice Mackey and Doris Cook, he is survived by his wife, Patricia Fitton Beach; his children, David Beach and his wife Allison of Leesburg, VA., Jennifer Lins and her husband Max of Round Hill, VA., and Scott Beach and his partner Jack Hills of Boston, MA; his grandchildren, Megan and Kevin Beach and Patrick, Liliana and Evelyn Lins along with several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Mr. Beach on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 9 AM at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, Morris Hall, 1 Bishops’ Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. Burial will follow in the Lawrenceville Cemetery.
Visitation for relatives, friends and former students will be held on Monday from 6 to 8 PM at Poulson & Van Hise Funeral Directors, 650 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
Memorial contributions to honor Mr. Beach may be made to the Lawrence Township Education Foundation, PO Box 6531, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (www.ltefnj.org) or to The Foundation of Morris Hall / St. Lawrence, Inc. dedicated to the support of the mission of Morris Hall and St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center, 1 Bishops’ Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (www.morrishall.org/foundation).
For directions or to offer a condolence to the family please visit www.poulsonvanhise.com