L-374’s Beebe devotes life to Boy Scouts

Local 374 retiree John Beebe has devoted his life to helping youth through the Boy Scouts Association.

Retiree makes oath “To help others at all times” his life-long goal

Be Prepared. That’s the motto of the Boy Scouts. “Be prepared for what?” someone once asked Baden-Powell, the founder of scouting. “Why, for any old thing,” he answered. And that’s how John A. Beebe Sr. has lived — being prepared for any old thing and helping others to become prepared.

Beebe, 62, a retired field construction worker out of Local 374, Hammond, Ind., has devoted his life to teaching kids how to become good adults through the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program. His love for scouting began 55 years ago, when he first became a member of the BSA. As a youth, he worked hard earning merit badges and eventually became an Eagle Scout — the highest BSA rank attainable. As an adult, he worked as a scout leader (his son, John Jr., was a member), earning the BSA’s Silver Beaver award for outstanding service to youth. Today, Beebe is a member of the BSA’s local council as well as the central region board (which covers 13 states and 82 different councils), and the national committee.

Fellow retiree A. T. Jones says Beebe deserves an award for all his good work. “He will always be a good union person.”

But Beebe just wants to help out. If he is not working with the scouts, he is helping out the United Way as a member of its allocations committee, or working with the council of community events in his hometown of Highland, Ind. He has also served on the executive board for the Calumet Council Girl Scouts (his daughter, Annette Neyhart, was a member), and he is a lifetime member of the Hessville Historical Society.

Beebe said he built his life on the belief system he first learned as a young scout. “The Boy Scout oath or promise is the best way to live your life,” he said. “The oath’s teachings are the ultimate guidelines by which one should live his life.”