Centerville councilman dies during volunteer golf outing

City Councilman John Beals died Monday after suffering a medical condition during the Centerville Volunteer Golf Outing at Yankee Trace.

Beals is the second city leader to die in the last two months. Centerville City Schools Treasurer Mitch Biederman died last month after a bicycle accident.

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Beals, 83, apparently suffered a heart attack during Monday’s event, and Mayor Brooks Compton was by his side until medics arrived.

“He was an absolute perfect citizen representative. He was a friend to the city and a friend to so many of us on council. He will be greatly missed by many people, and I am proud to have known him,” Compton said.

Beals loved Centerville, according to city officials. He has lived in the city since 1965 and held a seat on City Council since 2008.

He was chair of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, chaired the Storm Water Drainage Review Committee and sits on the Centerville Business Development Committee. Beals had previously served on the Kalaman Memorial Scholarship Committee, the Americana Festival Committee and several others.

He was a graduate of the civil engineering program at Ohio State University and remained a lifelong fan of the school. Beals spent years working as an engineer at the Ohio Department of Transportation and went on to found the engineering firm LJB Incorporated.

“John was a great family man and citizen of Centerville as well as the Miami Valley region. John brought a unique skill-set to City Council, including the leadership and vision of a CEO, the precision and problem-solving of a civil engineer and a real zest for life. I, like others in our community, will miss John’s energy, leadership and friendship,” Centerville City Manager Wayne Davis said.

Beals and his wife, former Centerville mayor Sally Beals, have been married for 60 years. They share three children and three grandchildren. Beals loved gardening, tennis, traveling and Rotary Club.

The family shared one of Beals’ favorite quotes: “Go to any event in Centerville and you run into the people. The energy I get from those people is why I love this community. Sally and I enjoy the small-town atmosphere adjoining a larger city feel.”

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Memorial services have not been planned yet.

Beals was one of four candidates seeking three council seats on the Nov. 5 ballot. Election officials are conferring with Centerville legal counsel to review what will happen now.

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