Thomas Taylor Beeler passed away at home on Tuesday April 9, 2019 at the age of 74..
Tom was born in Oklahoma in May 1944. He was the third of the four children of Dr. Thomas T. Beeler and Virginia Beeler (nee Klein). Tom’s father was a surgeon in the US Army and served in both World War II and the Korean War. As a result, the Beeler family moved frequently. Tom had already lived in 8 cities by the time he turned 11 years old, including two cities in Japan. Tom’s father also died when Tom was just 11 years old, leaving his mother to raise their four children alone in Manchester, NH.
Tom’s incredible thirst for reading was launched in the wake of his father’s death. As a child he consumed multiple volumes per week of The Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins, and Nancy Drew mysteries, and developed a passion for literature that reaches the widest audience. During his pre-teen years, he dove into reading one of the first published histories of the second World War – “History of US Naval Operations in World War II” by the great historian Samuel Eliot Morison, in an attempt to understand the world calamity that had so consumed his father. Throughout his later career he strived to publish books in large print to bring more literature into the hands of the visually impaired.
Tom attended Bishop Bradley High School in Manchester, and then the New Hampton School in New Hampton, graduating in 1963. He repeatedly expressed gratitude for his teachers and mentors in school, especially at New Hampton, and faithfully attended multiple reunions.
Tom met Sue in Manchester, NH, when the two passed each other on the street and caught each other’s eye at the age of 14. “I was smitten,” said Tom. Tom and Sue married in 1965. They moved to NY City where Tom was attending Columbia University to study English and Sue went to Nursing School.
Tom began his career in publishing working on a small literary journal during his college years at Columbia University and then rose to the level of president of G.K. Hall & Co Publishing in Boston (1972-1991). In 1992, he became president of Chivers North America in Hampton, NH, the American branch of a British large print and audiobook publishing company. In 1995 he started his own large print and audiobook publishing company (Thomas T Beeler Publisher, Inc.) in Hampton Falls, NH. In 2004, he launched a smaller company focused on just large print - the Large Print Book Company. Finally he worked as an office manager, then reporter and editor of the Granite State News and the Carroll County Independent newspapers in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
Tom was a true Renaissance Man. Not only did he have a passion for art and literature, but also a great appreciation for hands-on skills. In the pre-internet era , he taught himself computer programming, building computers at home, and basic carpentry.
While working as a newspaper editor and reporter, Tom especially loved getting to know a wide variety of people, and enjoyed having the chance to support and highlight the work of people in making the community a better place. He spoke often of the generosity of so many volunteers in the Wolfeboro and Wakefield communities. It was clear that getting to know such people was a true honor to him, and nourishing to his spirit. Tom was deeply involved in many local activities himself, including serving on the Board of the Wakefield Food Pantry, the Wolfeboro 250th Celebration Committee (including assembling a book honoring Wolfeboro titled “Nothing Finer”). He was a member of the Friends of Wolfeboro Town Hall, and served as a judge of the Poetry Out Loud contest at Kingswood High School.
Tom deeply loved and valued his family and many friends. He also shared his wife's love of animals and was devoted to his pets. He leaves behind 5 dogs (Timmy, Margo, Mary Jane, Hobey and Howdy) and one pot-bellied pig named Paula.
Tom is survived by his wife Susan; son Ethan and his wife Johanna Linnehan and son Jonathan; daughter Emily and her wife Mary Trainor; niece Valerie Cooper; sister Jill Widdifield; brother and sister in-law Herbert and Susan O’Connor and their children Michael (and his wife Meg and son Daniel), Thomas O’Connor, and David O’Connor; brother and sister-in-law Dave and Mary O’Connor and their son Joseph; cousin Nan Edmundson, cousin Margann Green, cousin Sims Beeler; and Susan’s cousin Nancy Medlicott and her husband Haman and daughter Oriana.
He is greatly missed. Your thoughts, memories and any photos of him that you may have to share are greatly appreciated.
Visitation hours will be Friday, April 12, 2019 from 5-8pm at Lord Funeral Home at 23 Club Lane, Wolfeboro, NH 03894. A graveside service will be held the next morning, Saturday at 11:00am at Pine Grove Cemetery at 765 Brown Ave, Manchester, NH 03103.
Notes of condolence may be sent to the family at PO Box 970, Sanbornville, NH 03872. Donations in lieu of flowers are encouraged to be sent to the Wakefield NH Food Pantry at http://www.wakefieldnhfoodpantry.com/ 603-522-3094.