ARCADIA, Ohio - Duane A. Beamer, 71, a Marathon Oil executive whose expertise in taxes and finance was called upon by governments in the Middle East and by his local school board, community, and church, died of cancer Saturday in his home in Hancock County's Washington Township.
He was manager of the tax compliance division when he retired in 1992 from Marathon, where he worked for 35 years, his son Dirk said.
Mr. Beamer's office was at the firm's headquarters in Findlay, but his job required significant world travel: Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa. He also traveled throughout the United States and testified before congressional committees on taxation policy and the oil industry.
Several nations in the Middle East sought his advice as they developed taxation codes, his son said.
"Dad was always reading and learning, and he probably welcomed the challenge that was always presented every day with his work," his son said.
"Dad was a pretty modest guy. To his credit, he never changed who he was. Friends from Arcadia were still friends from Arcadia. And his hobbies - fishing or doing handyman work - never changed. He was able to move between both worlds pretty easily."
Mr. Beamer was a former president of the Arcadia Local Schools board of education, of which he was a member from 1973 to 1996. He had a vested interest in the district: He was valedictorian of his 1952 Arcadia High School graduating class, and he had seven children in the system.
He championed the passage of several significant school levies in the 1970s "to make sure Arcadia stayed one of the pre-eminent school [districts] academically and still have great athletic and music programs" his son said. "People knew that when Dad spoke on taxes and on how finances worked, he spoke with great credibility."
He was a member of the then-Hancock County Board of Education. From the early 1960s into the 1970s, he was clerk-treasurer of Washington Township.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Arcadia, of which he had been treasurer, council member, and a member of the finance and property committees. He taught adult education and sang bass in the choir.
"Serving others and serving God was second nature to him," his son said. "That's how he was brought up. He believed very much in the work of the church."
Several years ago, Mr. Beamer, his wife, Kay, and youngest son, Chase, took a church mission trip to Tanzania in East Africa.
Born in Fostoria, Mr. Beamer was in sixth grade when he moved with his family to a farm in Washington Township.
He received a two-year degree in accounting from Tiffin University and a bachelor's degree in business management from what was then Findlay College.
He liked fishing for walleye and perch in Lake Erie. He also took fishing vacations to remote locations across Canada.
In retirement, he and his wife traveled to Europe and to visit their children, now living across the United States.
He was a former president of the Arcadia Lions Club.
Surviving are his wife, Kay, whom he married Dec. 10, 1954; sons, Layne, Trent, Brock, Dirk, and Chase Beamer; daughters, Beth Kiper and Kendra Holman; sister, Roma Switzer; brother, Bob Beamer, and 12 grandchildren.
There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow in Trinity Lutheran Church of Arcadia, where the family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today and from 1 to 2 p.m. tomorrow.
The family suggests tributes to the church.