Lyle Beattie (December 27, 1923 — November 18, 2018)
Lyle Beattie died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Glenwood Springs on Sunday, November 18, 2018. He was 94.
What a wondrous life! He was valedictorian and head boy (student body president) of Boulder High School, class of 1941…He was in the first Navy ROTC class at the University of Colorado, and was a naval officer on the destroyer U.S.S. Lang in the South Pacific, before he was old enough to vote…In the 1960s he served three terms on the Glenwood Springs City Council, including two terms as Mayor…Ever the adventurer, in September of this year, after the diagnosis but before incapacity, he drove himself and his wife Roberta on a 2,500 mile road trip that included Yellowstone, Glacier National Park and Mount Rushmore…More than anything, he was the rock and inspiration for his family and others that he touched, and made the world a better place.
Lyle was born in Boulder, Colorado on December 27, 1923. His Dad, Wayne Beattie, was a professor and ultimately the head of the mechanical engineering department at CU. He married his Boulder High School sweetheart, Patsy McCauley, on February 19, 1944, the same day that he received his commission as a naval officer and two weeks before shipping out to war.
After the war, Lyle earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in engineering, and served for a while with his father on the faculty at CU. From 1948 to 1953, the family lived in Santa Monica, California, where Lyle was an engineer for Douglas Aircraft in aerodynamics in the early days of the new jet age.
Lyle and Patsy and their growing family moved to Glenwood Springs in 1953. They lived in Glenwood Springs full-time until 1980, when they began splitting time between Colorado and Arizona. Patsy died in Arizona in February 2010, shortly after the anniversary of their 66 years together. In 2012, Glenwood again became Lyle’s full-time home.
A magnificent thing happened in 2012. One of Lyle’s fellow members at the Methodist Church was Roberta Turner. That November, after a Veteran’s Day event in which he participated, Roberta congratulated him and touched his arm. He said it felt like a jolt of electricity. He was immediately hooked. They began dating. They went to concerts and events. They rode bicycles and borrowed son Steve’s basketball to shoot hoops in the park. They were married on June 17, 2017. Along with Roberta’s daughters, Lyle’s daughters Lorie and Kerry helped plan a beautiful outdoor wedding, with Steve serving as officiant, Lyle’s great grandson Matthew as best man, and their nine great-granddaughters as flower girls.
Entrepreneurship was in Lyle Beattie’s blood. An early venture with another boy in Boulder involved trapping skunks, with the idea there would be a strong market for the attractive black and white hides. While that one did not work out well, others did. From 1953 to 1974, Lyle and his brother Hal owned and operated L-P Gas and Appliance Company, a propane distribution business with 11 plant locations in western Colorado, and 60 employees. They formed Beattie Trucking Company to haul propane from the Rangely gas fields, where the wholesale price was 4 cents per gallon. After selling the propane business, Lyle and Hal were the partners in Beattie Enterprises. Ventures included development of an industrial park in Silverthorne, purchase and management and sale of the 6,000 acre Hopkins Ranch in Spring Valley, development of Peach Tree Shopping Center in Clifton, and various other land and investment matters. His last job was as an ambassador at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, greeting and giving guidance to arriving guests at the top of the tram. His immediate boss was the mountain manager, being his grandson, Wade Beattie.
Lyle Beattie deeply believed that if you are going to be a part of something, you should do all you can to make it as good as possible. His service, leadership and volunteering continued for all of the nearly 7 decades that he was a part of our community. He served as president of at least seven area organizations — Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, First United Methodist Church, local chapter of University of Colorado Alumni Association, Westbank Ranch Homeowners Association, Glenwood Springs Golf Club and Westbank Ranch Golf Club. He was a director of the First National Bank in Glenwood Springs from 1960 to 1990. He served on too many committees to count. In his 80s and 90s, he was still a volunteer at Valley View Hospital, and with Roberta, assisted in the LIFT-UP program to serve meals to the less fortunate.
Lyle was a patriot who was honored to share his love of country and service through his military insights. Veteran’s Day was special to him, and he relished the opportunity to share. His inspiring words to the young people at Veteran’s Day programs had great impact, as students indicated in thank you notes written to him after his speeches.
Lyle Beattie loved sports, and was good at them. In the 1950’s, the L-P Gas town team league basketball team, made up of Hal and Lyle Beattie, Bob Veltus, Jack Fitzgerald and others, won almost all their games. 40 years later, Lyle was playing Senior Olympics basketball in Tucson, in the 70-80 year old category. One year his team won the tri-state Arizona/California/Nevada tournament. Golf was also a passion. In 2009, when he was 85, he and son Steve finally won their flight in the Oro Valley Country Club member-guest event, when he sunk a tricky 6 foot putt on the last hole.
Lyle is survived by his wife Roberta, and by 3 children of his marriage to his wife Patsy. They are Steve Beattie (Sharon), Lorie Beattie Courier (John), and Kerry Smith (Steve). Son Brent Beattie predeceased Lyle in 2014. Steve’s sons are Justin Beattie (Becky), whose daughters are Ella and Capri, and Wade Beattie (Krystle). Lorie’s children are Mandy Keller-Ruscio (Robin), whose daughter is Simone, and Travis Beattie Keller (Cathy), whose children are Matthew and Emma. Kerry’s children are Patsy Everett (Adam), whose daughter is Maisie, and Lee Smith (Jodi), whose daughters are Renee and Carlee. He is also survived by Roberta’s daughter Jan Turner Marusin and her husband Wayne, her children David and Brian Borquin, and Brian’s wife Sarah; and, Roberta’s daughter Susan Turner Pauley and her husband Gary, and Susan’s son Patrick Chapla and his wife Windi and son Turner Chapla, and Susan’s daughter Shelby Bandy and her husband Brett. He was proud of each and every one. We are proud of him.
Above all, Lyle Beattie was a good man. He provided the support and encouragement and example that allowed us to believe in ourselves. He was defined by a quiet dignity and a personal grace which embodied the very best. We rejoice in the extraordinary life he lived and feel blessed to have been loved by such an amazing man. He looked for the best in everyone.
He lived a full life as a true gentleman, businessman, great husband and father. He taught the importance of hard work and balancing careers with integrity and responsibility, the beauty of carefully chosen words in difficult situations, and the power of example in conveying values, including honor and respect for others.
It is sad to say goodbye even when you know he had a good long life. We can’t feel saddened over the loss of those we love without first remembering the joy of loving them. The real sadness would have been in never having had them in our lives at all. Each time we remember we meet again with those we love, for the heart never forgets. Our hearts will always remember and love you, Lyle.
Memorial donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 824 Cooper Avenue, Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601 or to Hospice of the Valley, 1901 Grand Avenue, Suite 206, Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601.
A memorial service for Lyle Beattie will be held at the First United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. Please stay for a reception in the Bethel Chapel, following the service.