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.