CHERRYVILLE, N.C. - Mr. Donald Brinkley Beam, 87, passed away Sunday, September 13, 2020 at Carolina Care Center in Cherryville.
Don was born December 2, 1932 in Cleveland County, the son of the late Henry Lee and Clara Odell Brinkley Beam. He was married to the love of his life, Mary Grace Sellers Beam. The pair met in high school and after an eventful first date, wherein Don accidentally drove into one of his future father-in-law’s cows, started a lifelong partnership of 58 years until her passing during 2009. In addition to being a devoted husband, he was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Don retired from Beam Grading Co. after more than 40 years of working with his late brother, Murray Beam Sr. His working life also included owning private small businesses and periodic employment as a driver for Carolina Freight Carriers. Don was a member of First Wesleyan Church of Cherryville and also attended Beulah United Methodist Church.
The family remembers Don thoroughly enjoyed supporting University of North Carolina athletics, carefully tending to his garden, farming, and had a lifetime hobby in racing, both as a former driver and spectator. His race driving career began in 1956 winning races in micro midgets at the original Cherryville Speedway. While racing throughout the Piedmont Carolinas and Georgia, Don soon advanced through the ranks to Sportsman stock cars where he won a Concord Speedway track championship in 1968. He had great fun appearing in a couple of locally filmed movies as a stunt driver.
In addition to his parents and wife, Mr. Beam is preceded in death by his daughter, Roxanna Beam Carpenter; five sisters: Faith Edwards, Hope Lewis, Charity Williams, Clara Wallace, and Jo Eddie Anderson; as well as two brothers: Murray Beam Sr. and Henry Lee (H.L.) Beam Jr.,
Don is survived by two sons, Donald B. Beam Jr. (Judy) of Clemmons and Gary C. Beam (Vickie) of Kings Mountain; son-in-law Ray Dean Carpenter of Kings Mountain; five grandchildren, William Beam (Ashley), Tyler Beam (Kortney), Lacey Beam, Brittany Beam, Travis Ingle (Rachel); and three great-grandchildren.
A private graveside service will be held for the immediate family at Beulah United Methodist Church Cemetery in Shelby with Chaplain Pete Gilbert officiating.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Beulah United Methodist Church, PO Box 294, Shelby, NC 28151 or to Testa Family Hospice House, 321 Kings Mountain Blvd., Kings Mountain, NC 28086.
A guest register is available at www.stameycherryvillefuneralhome.com.
Stamey-Cherryville Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Cherryville, N.C. is serving the Beam family.