Willis August Beecher of Caro, age 84, passed away on Monday, April 11, 2022 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. Willis was born January 22, 1938 in Caro, the son of the late Andrew and Veronica (Romain) Beecher. He was raised on the family farm, located on Colwood Road, and enjoyed caring for the horses, cows, sheep, pigs, and fowl. Even more, he loved working beside his twin brother, Willard, and driving anything with wheels. By grade school, the boys were driving tractors and heavy equipment with a passion for the work and deep bond with each other that would abide for the remainder of their lives. Willis graduated from Caro High School with the class of 1956 and remained active on the farm in addition to other jobs he held. Realizing small scale farming was not sustainable, he took a position with Michigan Oil, and later the Rice Oil Company, delivering gas and fuel oil in the area for over twenty years. He worked for a couple of years as a custodian at Caro High School before joining the Tuscola County Road Commission as a heavy equipment operator, retiring in 2000 after twenty-two years of service.
Willis was united in marriage with his sweetheart, Barbara Ann Biebel, in May of 1960. The couple moved an old house to the Beecher farm and continually remodeled to meet the changing needs of their family of five. Willis will be remembered as a hard worker and consummate provider for his family. He enjoyed the simple things in life and always wanted to do what was right. He had a knack for striking up conversation with strangers and finding commonality. On the rare occasion they weren’t related, they could at least find common interests.
Willis was a lifelong member of St. Christopher Parish, Sacred Heart Church in Caro and was active in its Men’s Choir. He was also a 3rd degree member of the Caro Knights of Columbus Council #3224. His faith was strong, but private, and he prayed constantly for others. His role with the men’s choir and Knights of Columbus allowed Willis an opportunity to form special bonds with men he admired, while also deepening his faith and serving God. Willis and Barb were part of a fun-loving twelve-member Euchre club that persevered for fifty years. For the last sixteen years, his winters were spent in Harbor Cove Park in North Port, Florida. While there, Willis became an accomplished shuffleboard player and enjoyed walking, bike riding, playing cards, and dancing. He looked forward each year to the relaxed atmosphere of Harbor Cove and rejoining his Florida family of snowbirds. Willis was blessed with good health until he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in the fall of 2021. He told his family that GOD gave him a rewarding life, loving family, great friends, and was allowed twenty-one years of enjoyable retirement.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Barbara; two children and their spouses, Ann Marie & Dennis Sattelberg, David & Roxanna Beecher; daughter-in-law, Sherri Beecher; grandsons, Curtis Sattelberg, and his wife, Stacey, Jake Sattelberg, Nicholas Beecher, and Noah Beecher; two great-grandchildren, Grahm and Finnlie Sattelberg; twin brother and his wife, Willard & Carol Beecher. In addition to his parents, Willis was preceded in death by his son, Douglas Jay Beecher; and granddaughter, Allison Marie Beecher.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at St. Christopher Parish, Sacred Heart Church in Caro. The family will be present to receive friends at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 12:00 p.m. The Beecher family wishes to thank Compassus Hospice for their expert care and compassion in Willis’ final days. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorial contributions to Positive Alternatives or St. Christopher Food Pantry. The family was assisted with these arrangements by the Ransford Collon Funeral Home of Caro. Friends may share memories, thoughts and prayers online at www.RansfordCollon.com.