James Beam

James (Buck) Beam, 65, was born May 13, 1959, in Salina, Kansas, to Wyona (Houdek) and James Beam. Buck was raised in Cuba with his sister, Jan, and brothers, John and Jay, by Jim and Delphene Houdek, their grandparents. He was baptized May 15, 1966, at the First Methodist Church, Belleville, Kansas.

Buck attended Hillcrest High School in Cuba, Kansas, and graduated in 1977. While in high school he played football, basketball and drums in band. After high school, he continued working for Grandpa on the farm north of Cuba. He married Trudy (Jeardoe) Beam. This union was blessed with a daughter, Amanda Lynn, and a son, Jakob Allen.

While growing up with Grandpa and Grandma, Buck learned all about farming, raising hogs and cattle. His Grandpa called him "little Buck" when he was a child and it stuck. He learned to drive at a young age as well as fix fence, and take care of feeding the animals. He took the role of being the big brother and protector of his sister seriously. There were certainly fights that the boys had, but everything always settled and the love and memories the family shares remain.

Buck tried his hand at many different things throughout his life and tackled them all with a smile on his face; anything in ag was his passion. He farmed, raised hogs and cattle, worked in the elevator, delivered feed, delivered puppies across the US, worked in the oil field, drove a truck, dispatched trucks, worked in agronomy and dispatched the custom application rigs.

He excelled as a bovine relocation specialist for many years. During those years, he traveled many miles across several states and made a multitude of friends along the way...and as you can imagine, his stories are many... "If you know you know." He attended as many activities as he could for Jake and Amanda during their school years and was just a phone call away while on the road. He was sure proud of the youngsters and all their accomplishments and their character. Both Amanda and Jake inherited his work ethic and heart, and are passing it down to their children.

He took great pride in owning his own business, Beam Trucking, where he employed several drivers who became lifelong friends. While on the road with his business, Buck and his brother were able to gradually increase their cow herd, and later were able to buy "the farm" from Grandpa Houdek. After he sold the trucking business, he started his career at the co-op: Farmers Co-op Shipping Assn., United Farmers Co-op, and Central Valley Ag. While at the co-op, he was dedicated to taking care of the customers, even on Sundays and holidays. He went above and beyond for his customers, and as a manager he did the same for his employees. He retired in May 2021, allowing him more time to fix fence, go to Mankato to the sale barn, and deepen his friendships.

All throughout his years, no matter what phase of his life, he was a good co-worker, a great boss, a loving Dad, devoted Grandpa, and a friend.

He married the love of his life and best friend, Kimberly (Irwin) Beam on June 2, 2001. They were blessed with six grandchildren from Jake and Amanda.

Buck spent many years working with the cows, calving, hauling water and fixing fence, along with his brother Jay and Kim, and later with his nephew. Buck's love for his family, children and grandchildren (and nieces and nephews) never failed. Grandpa spent many years following all the children's sports activities including wrestling, football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, county fairs and certainly enjoyed all of their hunting and fishing hobbies too. You could count on Grandpa-Uncle Buck's sound advice, like "How long has it been since you changed your oil?" or "You gotta work hard," or "If you're gonna be dumb, ya gotta be tough."

He enjoyed when everyone would get together or gather out at the farm and fish. It meant a lot to Buck to make sure the family felt loved, supported and as a whole, no matter the circumstances, he worked hard at it and it showed.

Survivors include Kimberly Beam; Amanda Beam (Robert) and sons, Mason and Carson; Jakob Beam (Tiffany) and children, Jackson, Jaden, Jase and Janae; sister, Jan (John) Kemmerer and family; brother, Jay (Lynette) and family; and a host of nephews, nieces and friends that he considered family.

He was welcomed at Heaven's gates by Grandpa and Grandma Houdek and many other loved ones.

His funeral was at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the Cuba Community Center. Cremation followed the funeral, and a private family burial will occur at the Jewell City Cemetery at a later date.

Visitation was from 1 to 8 p.m., Friday, May 31, with the family greeting friends starting at 5 p.m., at Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home in Belleville.

Memorials are requested to the Buck Beam Memorial, and may be sent to Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 566, Belleville, Kansas 66935.

Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home assisted the Beam family with arrangements.


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