Barry Joseph Beagles, 69, of Springfield, died at 12:10 pm, Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at Carlinville Rehab and Health Care Center. After a long battle with diabetes and heart disease, he is finally free from the cares of this world and is cracking jokes with St. Peter.
Barry was born on December 14, 1948, in Springfield, to Howard and Mary Anne Renfro Beagles. He was the oldest of six children and a caring big brother. Twenty-five years ago he gave a kidney to his brother, Gerry that is still functioning and providing the gift of life today. Barry’s childhood home was on the same block as Lincoln’s Home, and he enjoyed growing up in that historical atmosphere and enjoyed exploring downtown Springfield with his best friend, Dick Bubnis.
After graduating from Cathedral Grade School in 1962, Barry attended Griffin High School and graduated from Illinois State University with a double major in sociology and anthropology. He went on to earn a teaching certificate and three Master’s Degrees from Sangamon State University (now UIS): the Master’s Degrees were in sociology and anthropology, justice and social order with an emphasis in psychology, and human development and counseling with a certificate as a K-12 educational counselor. Barry always worked hard from the time he was a boy, be it as an altar server, a paper boy or as kitchen help at St. John’s Hospital at age 15. One of his favorite quotes was from Thomas Edison, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 % perspiration.”
As an adult, Barry worked in the field of social services for Camelot, DCFS and other agencies and he was a teacher at Griffin High School and Taylorville Correction Center. While teaching at Taylorville Correction Center, he also served as an educational counselor and as a rehab counselor. He worked for 13 years as a security guard at St. John’s Hospital.
He served his country as a medical corpsman at Great Lakes Naval Base from 1970 to 1973. While there, Barry received a letter of commendation for service above and beyond the call of duty from Admiral Ternville. Also, while at Great Lakes, he was a part of the Navy AAA team that won best team for the league. Barry continued to play baseball in Springfield in the Friday Night League at the Lake Springfield until he was in his mid-fifties.
On November 7, 1992, he married April Gunning in Carlinville. She survives. Also surviving is their son Andy, who was Barry’s pride and joy. The family lived in Auburn for many years.
His father Howard Beagles and father and mother-in-law, Bill and Judy Gunning also survive. In addition, five siblings and spouses, Anne, Rita, Gerry, David and Tom, and many nieces, nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews and cousins also survive.
Barry attended Thayer United Methodist Church and Auburn United Methodist Church.
Cremation rites have been accorded.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 pm, Friday, October 5, 2018 at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield where military honors will be conducted.
Throughout his illness, and during an earlier cancer diagnosis and treatment, Barry faced each day with courage and optimism, always trying to make the world a better place for those around him. He enjoyed making people laugh. He tried hard and loved big.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Garden Center Services or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
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