Arthur Edward Beale Jr. was born Jan. 7, 1935, in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Joliet. His parents divorced in 1941, and his mother sent him to live with her parents while she sought work in Chicago, during a difficult time between the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II.
During this time, his grandfather became his primary role model, a man he later described as “a man of immense physical and spiritual strength, a loving and devoted family man, a self-taught preacher with a strong faith in God,” and Arthur emulated his grandfather’s best qualities throughout his life.
In the summer of 1946, he moved to Chicago to live with his mother. He joined the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 10, 1952, and served for four years. On July 5, 1957, he married Jewel E. Turner, and began raising a family. That marriage would go on to last over 60 years.
Arthur passed away at 1:10 p.m. Monday (Sept. 10, 2018) at McLean County Nursing Home in Normal.
The church was always an important entity in Arthur’s life. He began to pursue training through Moody Bible Institute in 1961 and was called to preach in 1962, starting down a path of teaching and modeling his Christian beliefs while maintaining a marriage, raising six children, sustaining full-time employment, and furthering his education.
He had a strong sense of family that extended to his community. Some of his experiences as a minister of the gospel included (all in Illinois): associate pastor, Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church (1962-66); helped organize United Church of Christ’s Joliet Project (1966-69); founding member, The Fellowship of Caring (1969-70); worship leader and founding member, The Pilgrimage Protestant Congregation of University Park (1970-75); associate minister, New Faith Baptist Church, Park Forest (1975-78); co-pastor, Arbor Trails Community Church, Park Forest (1979-82); and associate pastor, Wayman AME Church, Bloomington.
He completed his training and residency in clinical pastoral education at BroMenn Medical Center and became a hospital chaplain there in August 2003. His spiritual maturity and gentle, comforting nature were clearly utilized in this role, and he continued as a volunteer chaplain at the Community Cancer Center until he retired in 2008.
Arthur’s community service included: member, board of directors, Home Sweet Home Mission, Bloomington; advisory committee, Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Education for African Americans, Normal; member, board of directors’ nominating committee for BroMenn Hospital, Normal; and member, Eastview Christian Church Promise Keepers prayer and accountability group. He participated in a mission trip to Haiti in November 2000, sponsored by Eastview Christian Church, a trip that profoundly impacted him.
Arthur obtained a bachelor of arts in business administration from Governors State University in 1974. His career included positions as a bank examiner and Illinois Department of Revenue supervisor. He retired from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Through the many roles described above, and in the course of his daily life, he provided spiritual guidance and support to many people, including life applications of scripture in family issues such as marriage and parenting, as well as comforting the sick and the grieving.
Arthur is survived by four children, Patricia Austin (Thomas), Dwight Beale (Jodi), Renee Patterson (Jay), and Arthur Beale III; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchilden.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jewel; and two children, Reggie Beale and Ayler Beale.
His funeral will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at East Lawn Funeral Home, 1102 Airport Road, Bloomington. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery, Bloomington. Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Condolences may be shared with the family at eastlawn-bloomington.com.