Francis “Beanie” Leon Head

October 29, 1930 - March 18, 2020

Age 89, of Warsaw, NY, passed away on March 18, 2020 peacefully at home with family by his side after a short battle with cancer. He was born October 29, 1930 in Batavia, NY, son of the late Leon Joseph and the late Kathryn Gath Head.

Beanie is survived by his wife of 53 years Virginia “Ginny” Neeley Head; son, Craig (Sue) Gamet of Rodman, NY; daughter, Michelle (Jim) Kusina of Toledo, OH, Nancy Head of Buffalo, NY, daughter, Jennifer (Thomas) Cooke of Attica, NY. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Steve (Stacey) Gamet, their two children, Kelan and William all of Iowa, Sam Kusina of Ohio, Diana Gamet of Massachusettes, Jessica Kusina of Ohio, Meghan Kusina of Ohio, Brianna Cooke of Attica and Joseph Cooke of Attica. He leaves behind many other family members and loved ones.

He worked for the State of New York Department of Transportation in Warsaw for many years as a highway maintenance supervisor. During that time, he worked many odd jobs including as a Special Deputy for the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department. He retired for the first time at the age of 55. He couldn’t sit idle and went back to work part-time with Wyoming County Bank as a special courier and retiring again as head of security. Town of Warsaw Justice was a fun job for him, as his wife was the court clerk. No matter what Beanie was doing, he put his full heart into everything.

Whenever you met up with Beanie you would be regaled with stories of his grandchildren and/or his passion for life. He was a proud man and always gave his opinion without flinching or apology, but he never dismissed you for your choice. Beanie had four main loves of his life (in no particular order), one, his family; two, the Fire Department; three, the American Legion/VFW; and fourth, his faith. Beanie has been a staple of the Warsaw community and of Wyoming County for years. He was always involved with some sort of event or organization starting as a youngster as an active member of his local Boy Scout Troop in the 1940’s to being a Past President of the Warsaw Kiwanis Club. For many summers he was a member of the Alexander Fireman’s Band, as a cymbal player and base drummer. This was a family affair. Three of his children were also members of the band, while his wife became the unofficial “Band Mom” either walking beside the band or driving the band van.

Beanie loved to travel, when physically able, to various events for his children and grandchildren. He would play many games of rummy with his grandkids whenever they came to visit.
Beanie served with the US Army during the Korean War from April 1952 until his honorable discharge in April of 1954, due to massive injuries sustained during his call of duty. He was a founding “Father” with his brothers-in-law, Richard L. Neeley and Gerald F. Neeley, and life member of the VFW Memorial Post 4823, Warsaw. He was a 57 year member of the American Legion Walter Klein Post 532, Warsaw where he served in a number of capacities including as Local and County Commander, Chaplain, 8th District Chaplain and as a member of a couple of statewide committees.

Beanie was a lifetime member of the Warsaw Fire Department/Rescue Squad with sixty plus years of service. He served as Chaplain in later years when he was unable to assist with calls, had an ambulance named after him, delivered a baby in the back of an ambulance, and was always first to give of himself. He was a Past President of the Western New York Fireman’s Association. He traveled with his wife and youngest daughter to many antique fire truck shows taking home many trophies with his antique aerial ladder truck.

Beanie was a member of St. Michael’s R.C. Church in Warsaw, having attended RCIA and being confirmed at the age of 80 into the Catholic faith, mostly in part due to his Attica family, who are faithful servants at St. Michael’s Parish and his Ohio family. Beanie attended regularly when his health allowed. He could be found sitting in the front pew at 10:30 morning Mass singing along with the music group of which Jen is the pianist, along with Tom and Joe as singers, with Brianna joining occasionally.

Due to current government restrictions, a Funeral Mass will be held privately at St. Michael’s R.C. Church, Warsaw on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 10 AM. Immediately following Mass, there will be military graveside honors at St. Michael’s Cemetery Warsaw. It is the family’s wishes that the Funeral Mass will be live streamed on St. Michael’s R.C. Church Facebook page for those who are unable to participate or attend at this time. There are so many memories and stories that the family would love to hear about Beanie. A public memorial service will be held at a future date, so all can celebrate his life. Memorial gifts in Beanie’s memory can be made to St. Michael’s R.C. Church, 16 North St., Warsaw, NY 14569 or Warsaw Fire Department, PO Box 229, Warsaw, NY 14569 or Warsaw Rescue Squad, PO Box 22, Warsaw, NY 14569 or Wyoming County Joint Veterans Council, 5362A Mungers Mill Rd., Silver Springs, NY 14550.

Important Dates

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Apr 7.20 from Kathryn Craigmile:

Ginny & Family.  Knowing Beanie was an honor. His dedication to family, country,church and department was apparent in everything he did.We had the honor of serving in the WFD with Beanie for many of the good years. His passing is truly the end of an era.  RIP Beanie.  Our thoughts are with you and your family.
kathy craigmile & Gino Casseri

Mar 29.20 from Tom & Lucy:

Our community has lost an example of good citizen.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Ginny and family

Mar 23.20 from Joseph D Clark:

I worked with Beanie many years at the DOT, a lot of good times. Also I was involved with the Varysburg Fire Dept where we both got involved with duties and mutual aids. My condolences to the family, may he rest in peace.

Mar 23.20 from Jim Bojanowski:

They don’t make people like “Beanie” anymore. What a wonderful caring person. God Bless You!

Mar 23.20 from Diane Doneburg Thompson:

My sincere sympathy to Ginny & family. I babysat for Craig & Michelle in the 70’s when Beanie & Ginny marched in Fireman Parades during summer weekends. Part of my memories as State Street neighbors. God Bless you all!

Mar 23.20 from Marjorie Gozelski Love:

“My Blizzard of 1978 Road Trip With Beanie.”  As a good high school friend of Michelle, I would enjoy the occasional sleepover at her home.  During the catastrophic Blizzard of 1978, I was stuck at Michelle’s house for two or three nights because the roads were impassable for me to get home to Hermitage Road in Orangeville.  To my parents’ great displeasure, I had the family car.  By the third day of the storm, maybe the fourth, my parents’ patience had run thin and they called and said they wanted me to get home with the car.  Beanie was concerned and called back to speak with my father about the unsafe/undriveable road and weather conditions.  While he was not able to convince my father to let me stay at their house any longer, Beanie then decided he was going to escort me home.  So, putting himself at risk, we set out together in a two-vehicle convoy, Beanie and me.  He in the lead in a village truck of some sort, followed by me in the family car.  He led me slowly and safely through the village and up the Liberty Street hill, to as far as he could take me before he had to turn around (perhaps for jurisdictional reasons with the vehicle he was in).  I made it home safely that day thanks to my guardian angel Beanie.  My memory of Beanie is that he was a committed, kind, concerned, involved, caring selfless servant.  To Ginny, Craig, Michelle, Nancy, Jennifer and all of the family, please accept my sincerest sympathies at this very sad time.  May Beanie rest in glorious peace and continue to serve the Lord in heaven as he did on earth.

Mar 22.20 from Shaun Fisher:

I am so very sorry for your loss, my old time friends. Love you

Mar 22.20 from Joseph Cash:

Our deepest sympathies to your family.                     

Sargent of Arms 8th District
Joe Cash
Thank you for your service.

Mar 22.20 from Chaplain Bruce Lacillade :

Rest In Peace brother.

Mar 22.20 from Lee and Paula Wilson:

To Ginny and Family, we send you our sincere condolences.  It was truly an honor and privilege to have known and to have worked with him in the Fire Department.  His knowledge and experience was invaluable and his friendship and loyalty to God and Country was second to none. With everything Beanie was involved with over the years, his family was always at the forefront.  We lost a true patriot!  Rest In Peace Chief

Mar 22.20 from andy straub family:

Beanie shined a light on everyone he met, his quick smile will be dearly missed at our next post 4823 meeting

Mar 22.20 from Jon & Kelly Seip:

So sad to hear of Beanie’s passing. His love of family and community always was such a great example to us. To Ginny, Craig, Michelle, Nancy, Jennifer, and the rest of the family, our deepest condolences.

Mar 21.20 from Bob & Sue Heubusch:

I’ll miss my talks With the Bean as we like to banner back and fore

Mar 21.20 from Deacon Dan McGuire:

To know Beanie in it’s self was an honor. His voice commanded the respect that you would follow in any conflict be it here or on foreign soil. When Beanie spoke it was with the truth and conviction that came from the depth of his heart with voice I will not forget. I hope Saint Peter knows what he is in for. My deepest sympathy goes out to his wonderful family for their loss. He will be missed by all who knew him and the many lives he touched who didn’t get to know him.

Mar 21.20 from Robert J Rebmann:

My condolences to the family of Beanie. I have many fond memories of Beanie and learned a great deal from him. He will be missed. Rest In peace, Beanie.

Mar 21.20 from Linda Carmody:

Ginny and family, I was so sorry to read of Beanie’s passing.  I have such warm memories of watching Jennifer grow up, when my parents lived behind you.  Beanie was such a vibrant element in our community…he will be missed.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mar 21.20 from Tim Talley:

Ginny and family, please accept my most heartfelt condolences. Beanie was such a good friend to me. And to my friend Beanie, well done. Rest In Peace.

Mar 21.20 from Janet Stubley:

I went through school with all of his kids. I’m sorry for all of you, you lost a great man! BEANIE was a household name, everyone knew him, his boisterous voice could be heard from great distance, his heart was full of gold! He was a server of this great village! It was obvious how much he loved this small quaint town! You will be greatly missed Sir, but you will never be forgotten! My deepest sympathy to you all! RIP Beanie, job well done, God bless!

Mar 21.20 from Jela (Ingles) Hagerman:

I am so very sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in the wonderful memories.

Mar 20.20 from Shaun Fisher:

I send my deepest condolence to a wonderful family. May your deep grief be tempered by great memories. Peace to you.

Mar 20.20 from J grover:

Sorry for your loss, wishing you all peace during this difficult time. Prayers.

Mar 20.20 from bill rupp:

rip beanie I truly enjoyed working for you and your wife . I loved eating cookies and coffee . I will always remember you . rest in peace