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Published: 12/7/2004

St. John's teacher was hall of famer

Frederick R. Beier, a Toledo City League Hall of Fame football coach with St. John's Jesuit High School and a teacher at the institution for over 37 years, died of heart failure yesterday in Toledo Hospital. He was 61.

Family, friends, and colleagues said Mr. Beier's talent as a coach was eclipsed only by his love for family, his concern for others, and his belief in the St. John's motto, "a man for others."

Mr. Beier was born in Fremont and grew up on a farm with eight brothers and sisters, said his son, Chris. The close family upbringing was something he shared with his own family.

"[Family] was something our grandfather gave to him," Chris Beier said. "It was something that my father brought to his family and the students at St. John's. He touched thousands of people at St. John's alone."

The Beier family made their name on the football field at Fremont St. Joseph's High School, as Mr. Beier shared the backfield with his older brother, Jim, earning second-team All-Ohio honors.

Mr. Beier continued his football career at the University of Detroit, earning two-time Catholic All-American honors. In 1966, Mr. Beier married Sharon Haas, and the following year was hired at St. John's as a coach and teacher, a year after the school opened.

"I think Andy Babula [a teacher at St. John's] said it best: that we lost the soul of the St. John's community today," said Gail Christie, a spokesman at the high school. "He had the ability to find that kid who needed help with his self-esteem and work with him. He was extraordinary in dealing with young people."

Mr. Beier was teaching physical education and health this year. He had taught driver's education as well.

Mr. Beier left his legacy as St. John's head football coach, from 1980-1997, compiling a 119-57-2 record with eight City League championships. He was inducted into the City League Hall of Fame in 2000.

He was also a standout track and wrestling coach at St. John's, said Ed Heintschel, the school's boys basketball coach.

Mr. Beier is survived by his wife, Sharon; mother, Ruth Beier; sons, Tony, Chris, and Andy; sisters, Barb Haynes and Jan Dickman; brothers, Jim and Chuck, and six grandchildren. Mr. Beier's brothers Tom, Mike, Steve, and Bill Beier - are also among his survivors.

Visitation for Mr. Beier will be from 2 to 9 p.m. tomorrow and from 2 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Witzler-Shank Funeral, 22 East South Boundary St., Perrysburg, where a scripture service is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday in the St. John's High School Chapel.

The family suggests tributes to the Fred R. Beier Memorial Scholarship Fund, care of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo.



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