December 12, 2019
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James E. Beardsley, Jr.

Deep River

Published Aug. 14, 2019

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James E. Beardsley, Jr., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 8 after a long and serious illness. His loving family and friends were nearby.

He leaves to cherish his memory sons James E. Beardsley III of Charleston, South Carolina, Howard Beardsley and companion Sharen Emond of Deep River; and daughters Lillian Beardsley of Deep River, and Rose Lambeth of Winston Salem, North Carolina. He will also be missed by his grandchildren Kevin Lambeth and wife Bethany of North Carolina, Dr. Stephanie Mathews and husband Colton of North Carolina, and Samantha Jedlow and husband Jonathan of Missouri. He also leaves behind his precious great-grandchild Violet of North Carolina; his sister-in-law Ruth DeSarbo of Westbrook; along with several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, James E. Beardsley and Irene Elizabeth Stitch Beardsley of Norwich, he was also predeceased by his loving wife Sarah of 53 years and his brother Donald Beardsley of Billerica, Massachusetts.

Affectionately known as “Bear” to his family and friends, he retired from Whelen Engineering in April 2017. He previously worked for SNET for 35 years. Jim proudly served in the US Navy from 1950 to 1955 during the Korean War. Bear was a loved member of the Deep River Fire Department for more than 30 years. He was a member of the Deep River Ambulance for 62 years. He was president from 1997 to 2010 and vice president from 2010 to present, and served on the Board of Directors. An Appreciation Award was presented to him for his 2000 to 2002 service. He was a voter machine mechanic; and a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, New London. In 2001 Jim received the Public Safety Award from Susan Bysiewicz, then Secretary of State of Connecticut. Jim received the Rotary Club of Deep River’s “2002’s Citizen of the Year” Award.

Jim loved his town, his community, and his country. As an active member of the American Legion, Jim served as post commander, district commander, and department historian. He was inducted into the American Legion Hall of Fame in 2016. Jim always exhibited a strong spirit. Jim was a member of the Winthrop Baptist Church. He was involved with many Deep River patriotic events and never missed a parade or veteran activity. Jim should be remembered most for being generous with his kindness. He was just someone who loved his fellow man, and was always willing to make life better for others. Even with advancing age and health issues, Jim still set an exemplary standard of service in all aspects of his life. He dedicated his Know How to others in the Deep River Fire Department as a volunteer and in other volunteer activities such as American Legion Spaghetti Suppers and Disposal of Worn Flags. Jim Beardsley epitomized the true meaning of a husband, father, and patriot and will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

Visitation was held on Aug. 12 at the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, 34 Main St. in Centerbrook. His funeral service was held on Aug. 13 at the Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church St. in Deep River. Burial with the rendering of Full Military Honors was held at the State Veteran’s Cemetery, Bow Lane in Middletown. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Deep River Fire Department, Fire Police Fund, 57 Union Street, Deep River, CT 06417. In memory of Jim, flags throughout the town were placed at half-staff and remained so until sunset the day of his burial. To share a memory of Jim or send a condolence to his family, please visit

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