Jennie L. Beam, 95, of Lancaster, went home to be with her Lord on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 after a month stay at St. Anne's Retirement Community. Prior to St. Anne's, she resided at the Long Retirement Community, Lancaster. She was born in Lebanon on December 4, 1924 to the late John and Mary (DeCarlo) DiFava. She graduated from Lebanon High School in 1942.
She celebrated 43 years of marriage with her husband Harold E. Beam before his death in 2008. She worked in customer service for UGI for 34 years where she met Harold, her second husband.
During her last 18 years at UGI, Jennie developed skills planning trips, dances and events for her co-workers. After retirement, she turned this into a full time, volunteer job as a tour guide with the Centerville AARP #4221. During her 20 years of volunteer work, she planned and personally guided 20 trips a year which included 60 cruises. She described this as a true "labor of love" noting she "loves feeling people had a great time". Anytime one mentioned traveling, she was able to share a memento and a story. She also organized an annual Holiday toy collection drive for the Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster. Donations often exceeded 500 toys a year.
Prior to her second marriage, she spent her time and energy as a single parent to her three daughters: MaryAnn Smith, wife of the late Michael C. Smith, Sr., Pearl M. Cuthie, wife of the late Eugene and companion of the late Ronald Schmitter and Linda A. Gerhart, wife of Jeffrey W. She constantly modeled hard work, persistence and high standards. Jennie considered her daughters one of her best accomplishments. She believed wholeheartedly they would find the means to achieve and so they did.
She was equally proud of her five grandchildren, Angela, wife of Jeffrey King, Michelle, wife of the late Lenny Navickas, Michael C. Smith, Jr., husband of Chantal, Brian Smith, and Becky, wife of Nick Paulokow. She delighted in each and every one of her 14 great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her brother, Frank DiFava, husband of Bertha of Lebanon. In addition to her husband Harold, Jennie was preceded in death by three brothers, Pasquale, Anthony and John, Jr.
Jennie was also proud of serving as the treasurer of the Lancaster County Democratic Party from 1987 to 1995. She was well-equipped for this task after spending years of stretching a dollar and using an envelope budget system as a single parent. She kept a keen interest in politics throughout her life and made sure her 2020 presidential election vote was cast.
Jennie was active with Harold in the Italian Club, the Couples Dance Club and volunteered with Millersville Meals on Wheels.
After moving to the Long Retirement Community, Jennie found joy and purpose crocheting baby hats for several neonatal units, and she loved receiving photos of infants wearing her hats. She also donated hats to others in need and made hats for each family member. Jennie also re-discovered the joy of reading, the fun of playing cards and completing puzzles with friends.
Church was an important cornerstone in Jennie's life. She made sure her daughters received a Catholic education and relied on the nuns as partners to "keep an eye on the girls". She was a parishioner of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Lancaster.
The family wishes to thank Jane, Fran and Michael who maintained her connection to St. Mary's when she could no longer attend in person. The family also thanks Georgie of Comfortkeepers for her many years as aide and friend. They are also grateful to the staffs of Hospice of Lancaster, the Long Retirement Community and St Anne's for their care and support.
Relatives and Friends are invited to attend a viewing on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 from 9 to 10 AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM with The Rev. Brian T. Olkowski as Celebrant, at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Face coverings are required and COVID protocol will be followed. The service will be available to view through a Live Stream link on Jennie's obituary page at SnyderFuneralHome.com on Wednesday at 10 AM and in the future. Entombment will be in St. Joseph New Catholic Cemetery.
Please omit flowers, and kindly consider a memorial contribution to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to St. Mary's Catholic Church, 119 South Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17603.
To send online condolences, please visit: SnyderFuneralHome.com
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