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Donald L. Beebe, 91, Marine Corps veteran of World War II, athlete

Jan. 29, 1925 - Nov. 30, 2016

FALCONER - Donald L. Beebe, a Marine Corps veteran of World War II who was wounded in the South Pacific, died Wednesday in his home in Falconer after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 91.

Mr. Beebe, who was born in Jamestown, dropped out of school to join the war effort after the attack on Pearl Harbor. His parents gave him permission to enlist as long as he finished school later, which he did.

He was part of the assault force on the Solomon Island of Bougainville and was wounded while on a scouting patrol. He was awarded a Purple Heart and 60 years later, he gave that same medal to his grandson, Philip M. Cala, now an Army major, who was wounded in Iraq.

Mr. Beebe was named to the Wall of Honor at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park in 2015. He earlier was a part of the Honor Flight to the World War II veterans memorial in Washington, D.C.

An accomplished athlete, Mr. Beebe played semiprofessional football after his return from the war and played fast-pitch softball for a number of years. He was a member of an all- star team from Jamestown who twice faced Eddie “The King” Feigner, whose fastball was clocked at more than 100 mph. Mr. Beebe got a walk from Feigner who pitched to him blindfolded. In his later years, he won the club championship at the Willow Run Golf Course.

Mr. Beebe was employed for years at the Marlin Rockwell Corp., and retired from Jamestown Metal Products. After retirement, he drove a bus for the Resource Center in Jamestown and served as a roller-skating coach for the disabled.

He was a member of the Viking Lodge and the Herman Kent Post 777  American Legion. He was a volunteer for years for Meals on Wheels.

His wife, the former Betty Johnson, died in 1990.

On Jan.  14, 1995, he married Diane Dombrowski, who survives.

He also is survived by  a daughter, Sharon McKotch; a son, Michael; two stepdaughters, Denise Burnett and Cynthia Morehouse; a stepson, Jeffrey Dombrowski;  and five grandchildren, six step-grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Lind Funeral Home, 805 W. Third St., in Jamestown.

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