Johnny Joe Beel, age 68, of Gallatin, MO and formerly a lifelong resident of Valentine, NE passed away on August 10th, 2020 at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. John was born on December 14th, 1951 to Gerald and Marianne (Brinda) Beel in Valentine, NE and was raised on the Duck Bar Ranch which his grandfather L.C. homesteaded in 1906. John attended Kennedy Rural School, where he was a member of the Rawhides 4-H Club. He then attended Valentine High School, spending one year at Maur Hill in Atchison, KS before returning to graduate from Valentine in 1971. While in high school, John participated in the boxing club, bringing home many Golden Gloves trophies and championships.
John worked on the ranch most of his life, starting as a boy in the hay field. In 2002, he took over ranch management from his father, raising crossbred Charolais Angus calves, using both the Duck Bar and the Quarter Circle Lazy J brands. He was an accomplished cattleman, even earning a round of applause one year when his calves set a sale barn record. He was just as talented at mechanics, welding, range management, repairing windmills and fixing fence. He was an avid horseman for many years and later in life an enthusiastic pilot, flying his Piper Cub to check pastures and, if given the opportunity, buzzing unsuspecting neighbors in their pick ups. He raced stock cars at the short track in Merriman, was an eternal “gearhead” and a devoted Harley Davidson rider.
John gained his sobriety in 1993 when he entered treatment at Valley Hope in O'Neill, NE. He became a regular attendee at AA meetings and grew into the role of sponsor, adviser and friend for many in the program. He was always happy to encourage and uplift anyone struggling and considered it a privilege to be of service. At the time of his death, John had celebrated 27 years of sobriety.
In the summer of 1995, John met Jamie Ann Stevens through a mutual friend who had arranged a camping trip on the ranch. Two years later they were united in marriage at the Zion Lutheran Church in Crookston, NE. They made their home on the ranch in the house that L.C. built in 1918 and surrounded themselves with cats, dogs, friends and lots of fun. In 2015, John retired and together they moved to Gallatin, MO where John made many new and dear friends.
John had an irresistible zest for life. He was always smiling, often singing and usually a bit mischievous. He was honest, conscientious and hard-working but always happy to stop and visit when a neighbor dropped by. He could tell a story better than anyone, often at his own expense. But most importantly, he was a kind, generous, and caring husband, father, brother and friend who will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Johnny was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include wife, Jamie of the home; son, Travis (Misty) Beel of Stanton, NE; son, Trepper Beel of Sprague, NE; son, Terrill (Shannon) Beel of Ozark, MO; daughter, Kelsey of Seneca, KS; brother, Lorin Beel of Valentine, NE; sister, Myki (Jim) Van Winkle of Wood Lake, NE; sister, Myndi Beel of Valentine, NE; six grandchildren; 1 great grandchild; several nieces, nephew, cousins and friends too numerous to name.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Valley Hope Addiction Treatment and Recovery in O'Neill, NE or Friends in Christ Church in Gallatin, MO. Due to Covid -19, memorial services will be held at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to the care and direction of Stith Funeral Home, Gallatin. Online guestbook at www.stithfamilyfunerals.com
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