Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

September 21, 2012

Jean Karen Dressler Beasley

ATHENS — Jean Karen Dressler Beasley died on Sept. 19 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at 4:09 am. Born on Jan. 17, 1947, at home in the West End of Hinton, W.Va., she was the daughter of the late William Edward Dressler and Virginia Clotille Harford Dressler. Her father was a railroader; her mother, a homemaker. Her brother, William C. Dressler, MD, her late sister, Dr. Kloris Ann McCormick, and Jean were the valedictorians of their graduating classes at Hinton High School.  

Jean continued her education at Marshall University and graduated in 1969, one of three summa cum laude graduates in her class. After teaching Latin and English at Shepherdstown (WV) High School and serving one year as a college counselor for the West Virginia Board of Regents, she completed her studies at West Virginia University School of Law in 1975. As an editor of the Law Review she authored an article that contributed significantly to the compensation of survivors of the Buffalo Creek disaster and to a fundamental change in state law.  

Jean believed that being a good mother, wife, and friend required great love, imagination, patience, and willing work, every minute, day, and year for a lifetime. Her three daughters, Heather Lauren, Sarah Elizabeth, and Leah Ellen, and husband, Jerry, were the grateful beneficiaries of her love-in-action and faith that eventually spread outside the family to her church, the Concord and Athens communities, and to the state of West Virginia. A practical believer in common sense, she devoted meticulous care to everything she did. Joyfully sewing, cooking, gardening, drawing and designing, singing and playing the piano were rewarding ways she spent time. She also liked reading, researching, writing, and editing. And, she gave willingly of these talents to countless people and organizations, never too many at one time but a considerable number over her lifetime.

Although her reading was diverse, the Bible was Jean's principal source of inspiration and guidance; her commentary on reading it fills five notebooks. Yet, her faith was sufficiently deep and wide to embrace people of other faith traditions and all who are genuinely searching for ultimate meaning in their lives. She attended Riverview Chapel in Hinton as a girl; Concord United Methodist Church for the past 27 years, where she was the “temporary” piano player for four years, a choir member, and chair of the pastor parish relations committee. A member of the Concord Interfaith Chapel Foundation Board, she assisted in the design of and fundraising for the Wilkes Family Chapel that stands now on the Concord campus.  

Jean's local affiliations reflected a desire to grow a better community. She served as president of the Mercer County Academic Boosters, chair of the Athens-Concord Town Social Committee, a member of the Athens Tree Board, the American Association of University Women, and the Pine Trees Chapter of the Concord Alumni Association.  She was a founding member of the local hospice organization and wrote its certificate of need to gain authorization by the state. She judged spelling bees and social studies fairs, and joined others in planting flowers and trees in the Athens Town Park. She taught and mentored numerous college students at Concord University, West Virginia Wesleyan, and Waynesburg College.  

She expressed many of these interests as a member of several state boards and commissions. As a governor-appointed member of the West Virginia Women's Commission, Jean helped edit and publish profiles of exemplary women in our state's history. She was a member of the West Virginia Faculty Merit Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

In addition to her loving husband and daughters, Jean is survived by her brother, William Conrad Dressler, and his wife, Wanda Dressler, and their children, Laurie, Debby, Susan, and Matthew; her brother and sister-in-law, Philip and Mary Beasley and their children and spouses, Michelle and Eric Williams, and Brad and Erin Beasley; her nephews, Grant and Jeff Aldridge; her sons-in-law, Peter McIntyre (Heather), Thomas McKenna (Sarah), and Joshua Wojick (Leah); and her new grandson, Maxwell Beasley Wojick (Leah and Josh). Gifts in her memory can be made to the Concord University Foundation scholarships, Town of Athens Flower Fund, Jean Dressler Beasley Fund of the Hinton Area Foundation, or the Concord United Methodist Church.  

A service to celebrate the life of Jean Beasley will be held Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. from the Concord United Methodist Church in Athens with the Reverend Greg Godwin officiating. Burial will follow in the Restwood Memorial Gardens in Hinton. The family will receive friends at the Memorial Funeral Directory on the Athens Road in Princeton Friday evening from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Online condolences may be to the family by visiting www.memorialfd.com.

The Beasley family is being served by the Memorial Funeral Directory and Cremation Center on the Athens Road in Princeton.

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