G. Gene Beauchamp

G. Gene Beauchamp

March 17, 1930 - August 31, 2013

G. Gene Beauchamp

March 17, 1930 - August 31, 2013


Garland Gene Beauchamp

Garland “Gene” Beauchamp passed away peacefully in his sleep August 31, 2013 after a valiant 3-year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He was the gentle patriarch of our family. His strength was in leading by example a life of humble dignity and loving service to others, always with a humorous positive outlook on life. He will be dearly missed by family, friends, and associates. We know he is in a better place now, unfettered by discomfort and physical impediments.

Gene was born March 17, 1930 to Ruth and Floyd Beauchamp in Kellogg Idaho during the Great Depression. He grew up in a 1-room house with his parents, older sister Vera and his brother Bill on a hill in the mining country of northern Idaho. He found adventure, fun and opportunity in and around the mine shafts and the surrounding wilderness. He played trumpet in his high school band, was on the football team, graduated as the class valedictorian, and earned his way to college by working in the mines.

He graduated from University of Montana in Missoula (previously known as Montana State University) with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism in 1952 and a commission in the Army through ROTC. Shortly after graduation, he served as a 1st lieutenant in the Army at the end of the Korean War. After the Armistice, he was assigned to a United Nations team in Thailand to help evacuate “Nationalist Chinese” out through Burma to Thailand.

After his honorable discharge, he worked as a newspaper reporter and then city editor for the Imperial Valley Press in El Centro, CA for 3 years. His adventures as a reporter included flying with the Blue Angels and riding aboard the USS Nautilus, the Navy’s first nuclear-powered submarine. He then worked at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune for 13 years as a news editor, then assistant managing editor. Gene finished his career with 23 years at the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Edition, serving as copy editor, assistant news editor, and copy desk supervisor.

While in the service, Gene courted his former high school classmate Pauline Ann Deggendorfer through the mail, and they married in January 16, 1955. They started a family soon after with Jan, Dave, Theresa, Pete, and Kristy. Gene and Pauline created a nurturing home environment for their children and friends, and became the home away from home for many foreign college students. They loved learning about and experiencing diverse cultures, first through their family of foreign students, and then through their own travel abroad in Africa and Europe.

Gene was a mentor and role model for many through his lifetime of service and giving, always a calm steady presence to serve as both anchor and guide for others. He continued this service ethic after retirement with his commitment to programs like “Meals on Wheels,” Shanti (HIV/AIDS service program), church choir, among others.

He is survived by Pauline, his wife of 58 years, sister Vera Graham, children (and spouses) Jeanette Knight (Gary), David Beauchamp (Geetha), Theresa Beauchamp (Bobby Ayers), Peter Beauchamp (Meg), and Kristine Beauchamp, grandchildren Hayden (Ivy), Bryce, Sarah, Nichole, Saritha, Meera, Ella, and great grandchild Gene.


VIGIL Friday evening, September 6th, 7:00 – 8:45 pm at:

O’Connor Mortuary
Laguna Hills Chapel
25301 Alicia Parkway
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

The vigil will include a 20-minute Rosary and then a celebration of dad’s life with family and friends giving brief eulogies/tributes.

FUNERAL and Mass on September 7, at 9:00 am at:

St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Laguna Woods
24252 El Toro Rd
Laguna Woods, CA 92637

Reception to follow immediately after the funeral mass at the church social hall.
This will be an additional opportunity for brief tributes.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be sent to the:
ALS Association, Orange County Chapter
1232 Village Way
Suite A
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 285-1088

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11 responses to G. Gene Beauchamp

  1. Gene was my mentor/boss at The Times Orange County from 1990 until his retirement, and I adored him. I sat directly across the “pod” from him, close enough to hear his almost constant humming. It might have bothered some people, but I found it strangely comforting. His entire demeanor, in fact, was comforting: calm, no-nonsense, unflappable. One night, however, we got into a heated argument about something and both went home angry. I felt awful about the breach in our friendship and dubious about either one of us apologizing. But surprisingly, the next time we worked together, he promptly did just that. Apparently, a serious of unfortunate events had befallen him and his family (I think his daughter had even been in a minor car crash), and Gene was convinced it was bad juju from our disagreement! Or so he said. I thought it was a pretty clever way to apologize without admitting he’d been in the wrong–and was deeply grateful. All was well between us once again. He even brought me a little carved soapstone elephant from his trip to Africa that to this day sits on my nightstand. Gene was notorious among the copy editors for rejecting headlines without explaining what was wrong with them, and he had a long list of copy-related pet peeves. One of these was the term “high-speed chase.” He insisted it was redundant and demanded that we delete the “high-speed” part. Then came June 17, 1994, notable to most people for the slow, televised police pursuit of OJ Simpson and the infamous white Bronco. To gleeful Times O.C. copy editors, though, it was the day that proved Gene wrong. Our good-natured delight, I think, stemmed from the relief of knowing that such an esteemed colleague could prove, at least occasionally, as fallible as the rest of us. I’m pleased that Gene was able to enjoy a long postretirement life, and I hope his loved ones can find comfort in the fact that he’ll be so fondly remembered by so many people.

  2. Gene was the class act in the LA Times’ Orange County edition newsroom. With chaos erupting periodically from either a news event or the high spirits of young reporters, Gene showed infinite patience and good judgment. Nothing seemed to get to him. He was a rock. One day, when the desk was crunching on deadline and two reporters were tossing a nerf football around and over the copy desk, Gene ignored it for awhile, but was watching out of the corner of his eye. The next time the football flew near him, he reached up and grabbed it without even looking at it, and promptly spiked it on the big needle that held edited copy. He did this in one, smooth motion. Then he continued editing a story without comment. I don’t think any of the throwers dared to come over and retrieve the football, and it wasn’t out of fear but because of their deep respect for Gene.

    — Bob Knight, copy editor, news editor for the Times 1982 – ’89.

  3. Bill White says:

    My wife Ginny and I have known Gene since joining the choir 17 years ago. What a warm and gentle man with a smile that invited friendship with all he came in contact. Gene was my political adversary and we frequently traded barbs and political points back and forth through the internet but never at choir or mass. Those places were for serving God. Frequently other choir members would be chatting away before mass up in the choir loft and Gene would politely remind everyone with a finger to the lips that we were in Gods house, not a Starbucks. I enjoyed his intelligent mind and he seemed to have a knack for making his point without a lot of lead-in. When I was doing physical exams for the Marine Officer candidates, in Spokane, Washington, our area covered the University of Montana and we frequently talked about the school or the area. I told him that if I was around as a recruiter when he entered the Army, I would have talked him into the Marines. No, he’d say, they’re too conservative for me. Of course he only said that to get my goat. Love and miss you Gene. Bill and Ginny White

  4. For four years –throughout our college years at the University of Montana journalism school (1948 – 1952) — Gene and I sat next to each other in most of our classes. Since professors seated us alphabetically most of the time, my last name of Beck immediately followed Beauchamp. Throughout those four years, we had a friendly rivalry for good grades and usually both fared well in that department. Both of us served as associate editors of the Daily Kiamin (sp?) published by journalism school students, during our senior year. Also that year, Gene invited me to attend the annual Foresters’ Ball as his date — a special treat because it was “the thing to do” on a campus where lumber was king and neither of us had ever attended before.

    From 1952 until the date the picture of Gene that shows on his obituary was taken, Gene loss a LOT of weight. In fact, it would have been hard for me to recognize him!

    Gene was a good soul — reliable, dependable, good-hearted, and honest to the core. Although we did not see each other for the last sixty years of our lives, I am glad he was my friend.

    Jewel Beck Lansing
    Portland, Oregon

  5. Ross Embry says:

    Gene was & is a unparalleled positive spirit that has nurtured & fostered my success as an artist/painter-writer; he super-charged my daring-do which undeniably facilitated my winning of the 1st Academy Awards Screenwriting Contest in ’93 :exclamation: His candor :heavy_plus_sign: affable amazement were essential for a steadfast march in realizing attainment of credible fulfillment :heartbeat: L*O*V*E, Ross Embry… 949-637-6025

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