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PORTLAND — E. Allen Beem Jr., 89, died Feb. 6, at Brentwood Center for Health & Rehabilitation, Yarmouth.
He was born Feb. 10, 1924, in Warren, Ohio, the first son of Edgar A. Beem and Marie Ritter Beem. The family moved to Portland when he was 12. Beem graduated from Deering High School in 1942 and Maine Maritime Academy in 1944. He served aboard U.S. Merchant Marine liberty ships in the Mediterranean and Atlantic during World War II. After the war, he attended Bowdoin College, earning a bachelor’s in history in 1949. His brother, Gordon, was a member of the Class of 1950 and his granddaughter, Tess Beem, graduated in 2013.
In 1948, Beem married Betty Gibson, also of Portland. The couple raised three sons together, Ed, Paul and Dana.
During the Korean conflict, he served in the U.S. Navy aboard minesweepers in the Pacific. For many years after Korea, he worked as a salesman for Metropolitan Life Insurance. In 1966, at the age of 42, Beem returned to his first love, shipping out as an able bodied seaman on tankers. Over the next 23 years he sailed for Sun Oil, Academy Tankers, United Fruit and the Brotherhood of Marine Officers, working his way up from AB to captain, licensed to command any ship on any ocean. He retired in 1989, but he returned to sea briefly in 1990-91, following the Gulf War to help take freighters out of the U.S. mothball fleet and ferry equipment, from the Gulf to Europe.
He and his wife lived in Westbrook from 1960 until 2012 when they entered Brentwood. The family would like to thank the Brentwood staff for the compassionate care their parents received there.
Beem was a member of the Westbrook-Warren Congregational Church, American Legion and the Masonic Order.
He was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Betty; and his younger brother, Gordon R. Beem.
He is survived by his sons, Edgar A. Beem III and wife, Carolyn, of Yarmouth, Paul C. Beem and wife, Marji Harmer Beem, of South Freeport and Dana M. Beem, of Windham; sister Janet Frost; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A graveside interment service will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery in Falmouth in the spring.