He was born Feb. 7, 1927, in Brazil the son of George E. Beeler and Maude Delores Aker Beeler.
He attended Brazil High School before joining the U.S. Navy. He served on the USS Flint during World War II and came home to begin working at Arketex Plant for nine years.
Bill was elected to the City Council under Mayer Ted McCoy and was appointed to the Brazil City Fire Department. He was on the fire department for a total of 22 years and served as Fire Chief for almost 10 years. During this time he was elected President of the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association and was presented a life membership. He was a life member of the VFW No. 1127 and was Past Commander. He was also a member of American Legion Post No. 2. Bill was a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 204 in Knightsville and was Past Master in 1988 and 1989. He has also served on the Brazil Park Board and held the position of president.
The list of accomplishments and memberships for Bill Beeler are quite lengthy and impressive, but his true calling has been playing the role of dear 'Santa Claus' throughout the state of Indiana for over 60 years. Generations of children have come to know and love him as their own 'Santa' and it was a role Bill did not take lightly. He continued to fulfill obligations for parties, family gatherings and of course being in his Christmas House in Forest Park night after night even when he didn't feel well and following the death of his wife. He will be sadly missed by all of Clay County and the Wabash Valley.
Survivors include his two daughters, Anita Parker and husband Rick and Lisa Wallen and husband Don, all of Brazil; four grandchildren LaCinda Wallen Taylor, Chris Schepper, Joshua Foulke and Jeffrey Foulke; three great-grandchildren Taylor Schepper, Dedadji Taylor and Derion Taylor.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Jean Shafer Beeler in July 2006; and one grandson Donnie Wallen.
Services will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Lawson-Miller Chapel with Revs. Ernie Rush and Richard Pippin officiating. Visitation will be Saturday from 4-8 p.m. and again Sunday from noon-2 p.m.
A military walk-through will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. and will be followed by the Masonic Service. On Sunday a Naval military honor guard will be present at the cemetery, along with the color guard from the VFW No. 1127 and the American Legion Post No. 2.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made in his memory to "Christmas in the Park." Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. Post a heart for Bill at www.frenchfuneralhome.com.