Samuel Alexander “Alex” Beam Jr. went to his eternal home with his Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, on July 15, 2021, after battling a long illness. He was surrounded by his adoring family.
Alex was born in Iredell County on February 7, 1947, to Samuel and Dorothy London Beam. He was preceded in death by his parents and his granddaughter, Eden Tilton.
Surviving family includes his wife, Daisy Alexander Beam; children, Michele Tilton and husband Keith, Samuel Beam III and wife Sara, Travis Beam, and Darla Pastwick and husband Derek; grandchildren Luke and Benjamin Tilton, and Savannah and Sailor Beam, all of Mooresville, N.C.; and sister, Nancy Tant and husband Brian of Huntersville, N.C.
Alex was a successful entrepreneur and businessman. He worked very hard throughout his life, beginning with his father’s milk delivery business as a young child. He took over his father’s milk delivery business, Beam Distributors, and continued to deliver milk after his father’s unexpected passing after high school. He worked full-time plus more before and after class while working his way through seven years of college.
After graduating from Mooresville Senior High school, Alex first attended King’s College in Charlotte earning an Associates in Science in Business. He then went on to attend Davidson College, where he graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. An article was written on him upon graduation titled “He Earned a Davidson Diploma the Hard Way.” It described how Alex would wake at 2 a.m. to deliver milk, go to all his classes, go back to work, then do his homework. Dr. James Causey, Alex’s Spanish professor, who became a close friend and best man in his wedding, was quoted in the article: “Alex is modest and acts as though his life is nothing special. But Alex’s story is the most spectacular I can think of … I have never known, in all my forty years of teaching, a boy to work quite so hard as he has … he is an inspiration to others.” In that article Alex attributed most of his success to “God’s strength.” That sums up most of Alex’s life — he was very hard-working, successful yet humble, God-fearing, and faithful.
While in college, Alex joined the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department, and would occasionally leave class to go fight a fire, retiring from the department after volunteering for over 35 years. During his time of firefighting, he won both the Mecklenburg County Distinguished Service and Lifetime Fireman Awards. Alex was also active in the Davidson Lion’s Club, where he won the Lion of the Year Award. In 1982 he was a founder of the Annual Davidson Christmas Parade (now the North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade) and helped managed it for many years. Alex was an active member of the National Model T Club and Model A Club. He was an active member of the local Hornet’s Nest Regional Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) and National AACA Vintage Car Club most of his adult life. He and his wife Daisy won numerous achievement awards for their preservation of historical automobiles at both the local and national level.
Besides the love he showed for God and his family, vintage automobiles, history, and race cars were his greatest passions. Saving money from mowing lawns, Alex bought his first car at age 15, a Ford A Model, and he began doing work on the car over the years — lovingly restoring it and he never sold it. While in college in 1968, seeing a need for parts for his Ford Model A, he established and operated Beam Distributors Antique Automobile Parts business from a small shop he built behind his mother’s home in Davidson. With the help of his wife and young children, he would sell and ship various car parts all over the world. A short time later, he also established Beam Distributors Trailer Sales, running it for over 40 years. During that time, he enjoyed working close daily with his son Sam for over 25 years selling trailers and passing on his business knowledge to all of his children. He continued to manage and operate those businesses alongside his loving wife and children, who are honored to continue operating some of those family businesses to this day.
From his youth, Alex began to collect extensive knowledge of vintage automobiles and race cars with the dream of opening a car museum to share his love and knowledge for these historic treasures. In 2001, he established Memory Lane Museum in Mooresville, where he was curator until his passing. Through this avenue, he provided automobiles, props and set locations for many commercials, print, and motion pictures. His extensive knowledge of automobiles will remain a legacy.
Alex was an active, long-time member of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Cornelius. He taught Sunday School and was a deacon and elder at the church. His kids will always cherish that their mother and father taught them about Jesus, not only at home and in their life, but by actively serving the Church and Community. He cherished his wife, and children and his grandchildren. He was honored to help baptize all five of his grandchildren in the church he so faithfully served.
Throughout his life, Alex openly professed his ardent love for his Savior, Jesus Christ. His main concern each day was to teach his children the importance of the Word and to dedicate their lives to serving Christ. He also wanted others to know the Gospel and that life with Jesus was more precious than anything on earth. 2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us, “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”
A Service of Witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ will be held in Cornelius at Bethel Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 22, 2021. The family requests no flowers and in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either Samaritan’s Purse or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Cavin-Cook Funeral Home and Crematory, Mooresville, is serving the Beam family. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.cavin-cook.com.