Long time faithful member of St. Barnabas, Walter Beavans, passed away peacefully on Nov. 12. The joy to see his smiling face and to hear him play the piano are some of the wonderful memories we have of him
Walter Beavans Eulogy, November 18, 2014
In case you couldn’t be there:
The Homily given by Father Ray at Walter Beavans service was heartwarming and spoken by a friend whom he had met a year and a half ago.
There was an Army Jeep parked as the lead car for the processional.
Father Ray began by telling of Walter’s writings, his experiences in World War II. Walter was a Medic in the US Army under General Patton.
Upon landing on the beaches in Normandy and having no gun, but carrying the medical supplies, his assignment was to locate the wounded men - those who were so near death and could not be saved were given enough morphine to make their journey less painful. Those men who could be saved were given a slight bit of morphine for pain. He took their rifles with bayonets, stuck them in the sand and placed their helmets on the top – an indication that they should receive further medical assistance. Several months later, he and his buddy were in a foxhole and it was cold and the rain was freezing in the bottom of the foxhole. They knew they must get out as the Germans were close. He made it five months and then Walter was hit on the left shoulder with shrapnel from a German grenade and this ended his time in the war. His wounds resulted in permanent military disability.
Father Ray talked about Walter’s love of music. Walter suggested that Fr. Ray did not ‘remember’ the old songs – and Father Ray said – How about Stardust? Do you know that one? And they sang together – World War II songs. They didn’t get all the words right, but they had a good time and it didn’t matter. Father Ray continued that he had seen a box of old albums at the St. Barnabas yard sale. Right there on the top was an album of Glen Miller, who was Walter’s favorite. Father Ray took the album out to Walter and they had a great time with it. During one of Fr. Ray’s visits, Walter’s daughters showed pictures of him playing the saxophone. Walter’s love of music was demonstrated by his playing of the piano in the fellowship hall after the Sunday service. A vivid memory for the members of St. Barnabas.
Father Ray shared, “Walter’s cancer came back – with a furry. He was 90 years old. Any normal human being would have given up the go. But, Walter did not give up. Towards the end, he said with a small voice, “I don’t want to fight no more, but I can’t seem to stop” And so he fought – and for two Sunday’s, Father Ray came to church and told the congregation, ‘Dear Friends, our dear friend, Walter Beavans is very close to the end and will you please keep him in your prayers. And you did! Walter was finally able to stop fighting and be at peace”.
His coffin was draped with the flag he loved. There will be military honors when he is laid to rest.
Father Ray continued: ‘It is people like this that you don’t have to preach about being saved because he seemed to be one of those really loving, peaceful, simple guys who was Saved. He was not vain or boastful but simple. He was one lovely Christian human being.”
“The glory of God and in the name of Christ, Amen”