Beach, Jean Rockwell, of Old Mission, MI, Saginaw, MI, and former resident of Frankenmuth, MI, passed away on Saturday, February 2, 2019 with family by her side. She was 89 years young. The daughter of the late Hiel M. Rockwell Sr. and Elizabeth Liebermann Rockwell, Jean was born December 22, 1929, in Saginaw, MI. She attended Saginaw schools, and was graduated from Saginaw High School in 1947. She received her BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1951 and continued to be a lifelong learner. In May 1962 she married Glenn M. Beach. Births of daughter Sue, and son Ben added to their existing family of sons Peter (deceased), Matthew, and Jeffrey. Jean was an accomplished writer who was known for her interesting stories of people and places in Saginaw. She has written several books, including "A Century on Canvas" about the art careers of Julia and Henry Roecker, three Saginaw Hall of Fame volumes, and "Undefeated" with Don Steel. Additionally, Beach authored histories of First Congregational Church Saginaw, Pit and Balcony Community Theater, and the Saginaw historical cookbook "Savoring Saginaw" with Patricia Shek, which won the top award in the Saginaw News Critic's Choice in 2007. Unique accomplishments include creating the "Slim Chipley" character for Paramount Potato Chips, and starring as "Miss Merryweather" on WNEM Channel 5 in Saginaw. As a recognized artist with exhibits throughout Michigan art museums, Jean was in various shows held at the Saginaw Art Museum, where she was awarded Best of Show in 1998. Her work has also been included in the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in Lansing, and the Scarab Club in Detroit. In 2010 Beach received the All-Area Arts Award from the Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission. She was active both on and off-stage at Saginaw's Pit and Balcony and served on its board. Jean gave riveting lectures that were sprinkled with amusing anecdotes on such topics as "The History of Pit and Balcony", "Art in Public Places", and "How Saginaw Got the World's Best Water" among many others. Above all, Jean used her gifted talents to bring joy to many people who have felt it a blessing to know her. Surviving are children Matthew Beach (Nancy) of Shrewsbury, MA, Jeff Beach (Jan) of Camano Island, WA, Sue Godwin (Paul) of McPherson, KS, and Ben Beach (June) of Coppell, TX; grandchildren Kate Sackton (Tim), Jennifer Beach, Megan Campbell (Colton), Alicia Godwin, Lauren Beach, Sydney Beach; and great-grandchildren Isaac and Nathaniel Sackton. Jean was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Glenn M. Beach, her sister Caroline E. DeVries, brother Hiel M. Rockwell Jr., granddaughter Julie Anne Beach, grandson Jason Beach, and grandson Andrew Beach. Friends may visit with the family on at the W. L. Case and Company Funeral Chapel, 4480 Mackinaw Rd. on Friday, March 1, 2019 from 4:00-9:00 p.m. Memorial service will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2, 2019 at First Congregational Church, 403 S Jefferson Ave, Saginaw, MI 48607. Janice E. Thomas, Lay Minister will officiate. Memorial contributions may be sent to Saginaw Historical Society, the Saginaw Art Museum, Old Mission Congregational Church, or First Congregational Church of Saginaw.
W. L. Case and Company Mackinaw Funeral Chapel
4480 Mackinaw Road