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Beeler D. Higbee, Jr.

November 12, 1920 October 12, 2011
Beeler D. Higbee, Jr.
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Obituary for Beeler D. Higbee, Jr.

On October 12, 2011, Beeler David Higbee Jr. left to be with the Lord and his loving wife of fifty-four (54 years), Marjorie. Beeler leaves all of us who love him glad for his release from Alzheimer�s disease, which he fought so valiantly, and heartsick over the loss of a genuinely good and decent man. We are all better for having known him, a man of true character and unwavering devotion to God, family, country and work. It can be said without argument, that Beeler lived his life with integrity in all things, gentlemanly class at all times, and loving devotion to all whom he loved. He was a true role model and the very definition of what a �good man� should be.

He was born November 12, 1920 in Detroit, Michigan to the late Beeler and Lillian Higbee. He was preceded in death by siblings Elizabeth Higbee, Dean (Bernice) Higbee, Patricia Higbee, James (Lorraine) Higbee, and Dorothy (William) Maben.

He was a strong advocate for education. Upon graduation from Detroit Edwin Denby High School, he enrolled at Lawrence Institute of Technology. He earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Lawrence Institute of Technology and an Associate in Commerce Degree from Henry Ford Community College, while working full time. He was a member of the Society of Engineers for over thirty five (35) years and the Oakland County Area Labor Management Committee.

He began his highly accomplished career in 1940 as a draftsman with Chrysler Corporation. In 1941 he obtained a position with the United States Navy Bureau of Aeronautics working in the field of aircraft procurement inspection with various defense contractors in both Detroit and Toledo. On August 19, 1944 he entered the U.S. Navy. He served two years at the Naval Air Station in Seattle, Washington as an aviation machinist mate. Upon honorable discharge from the service, he rejoined the Bureau of Aeronautics in Detroit in 1946. Then in 1955, he began his distinguished thirty (30) year career with Ford Motor Company and Ford Tractor Operations. He held many key positions including operations manager, manufacturing manager, plant manager and manager of quality control. After retiring from Ford Motor Company in 1985, he was self employed as a manufacturing and quality consultant. His work took him around the world including England, Belgium and Brazil.

Beeler is survived by his children David (Janet) Higbee, Susan (Lawrence) Thering, Mary Ann (Edward) Nemer-Kaiser, Barbara (Robert) Smith, James Higbee, Kenneth (Cheryl) Higbee and grandchildren, Michael (Jessica) Thering, Robert Higbee, Rebecca Higbee, Michelle Thering, Robert Smith, Allison (Steve) LeDuc, Phillip Higbee, Kristina Hanna, Jeffrey Smith and Bryce Nemer-Kaiser. He is also survived by his brother Donald Higbee and sister-in-law Ruthann Higbee.

Visitation will be at Lynch and Sons Funeral Home in Clawson on Sunday from 2-8 pm. Services will be held at St. James Episcopal Church in Birmingham at 10 am on Monday, October 17, 2011. Memorials may be made to Alzheimer�s Association, 20300 Civic Center Dr., Suite 100, Southfield, MI 48076.

Beeler was a beacon for all that knew him. He was a dedicated family man who lived his life with integrity, honesty and a commitment to all those he knew and loved. His light will shine on and continue to guide us for all time.


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