Willis Joseph Beer, 72 of Bemidji, MN died Saturday, January 3, 2009 at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota.
Memorial Services will be 1:00 pm, Saturday, January 10, 2009 at the St. Philip's Catholic Church in Bemidji, MN with Fr. Vincent Miller officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji.
He was born November 6, 1936 in LeCenter, Minnesota the son of Bernard and Veleeta (Ely) Beer. He attended school in LeCenter, MN. He started working on the family farm. In 1949 he worked in the body shop for Rydell Chevrolet in Montgomery, MN. He entered into the US Army in December of 1959 where he served overseas, spending 3 years in an Army marksmanship unit. He was honorably discharged in November of 1965. He owned and operated Beer's Body Shop and Towing and he also had a radiator shop and carwash in Waterville, MN from 1965-1976. He then owned and operated Northwoods Resort, Bait Shop and Marina from 1976-1987 in Bemidji. He welded and drove school bus in Wasilla, AK from 1987-1996. He returned to Bemidji where he worked for the Bemidji Town and Country Club in maintenance until his retirement in 2001. He always took time to enjoy the outdoors with his family and friends. He loved to hunt, trap, fish, snowmobile and was an avid dark house fisherman. His passion for marksmanship led him to shoot on many service and civilian teams at State, Regional and National level competitions in both Small Bore and High-Power. He also won state championships in Archery. He taught firearm safety for many years and was a staunch supporter and life-time member of the NRA. He was also a life-time member of the VFW, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Waterville Sportsman Club. He was also a member of DU, The Minnesota Dark House Association and the American Legion.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth (Grover) Beer of Bemidji; three sons, Mark (Kathy) Beer of Roseville, Joe (Deb) Beer of Bemidji and Tom (Krista) Beer of Palmer, Alaska; one daughter, Lisa (John) Freise of Bemidji; three granddaughters, Kailey, Erin and Leah Beer; three grandsons, Ben, Josh and Caleb Beer; extended family, Kip and Garrett Reinarz; special nephew, Harry (Randee) Tolzman of Waterville, MN; sister, Laurency (Harold) Malinski of Litchfield, MN; sister-in-law, Ann Beer and family all of Huntsville, AR.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Phyllis and brother, Bernard.