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Ollie B. Beene was born on September 16, 1924 to Leander and Louise (Jones) Beene in Guntown, Mississippi. He was the 4th of 13 children born to this union and was always surrounded by love. He spent his younger years in Mississippi where he received his formal education.
Ollie came from a spiritual family and accepted the Lord as his personal Savior at a young age and continued to grow in Christ as he developed into manhood.
At the age of 18, Ollie joined the United States Army during WWII where he served for 4 years. He spent time in France and other European countries. In 1946 he received an honorable discharge and returned home to Mississippi. Ollie decided to seek a better way of life and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be near his brother, Willie Beene, who helped him get established in the city. Ollie was hired by the Veterans Administration where he worked for five years as a Kitchen Helper. He joined the Tabernacle Community
Baptist Church and the Usher’s Ministry. He remained a faithful member and usher until he moved to San Diego.
In 1947, Ollie was set up on a blind date with a pretty girl from Hattiesburg, Mississippi named Christine Spikes. On their first date, they went to the movies, and there was an instant spark between them. On their second date, Ollie invited Christine to church, which really impressed her. Less than one year later, they were united in Holy matrimony - they had a loving and exceptionally rare relationship that served as an example to many others. They affectionately referred to one another as “Dear” for over 7 decades. To this union, two beautiful children were born: Tyrone and Diana.
Ollie was ready to leave behind the cold winters in Milwaukee, so in 1952 he packed his family into their 1941 Chevy (of course it was always immaculate) and headed to San Diego, California. When they arrived, the Beene family joined the Calvary Baptist Church. Ollie remained a faithful member under the pastorage of the late Dr. S.M. Lockridge, the leadership of the late Rev. Willie J. Smith and continued his service under the pastorage of Dr. Emmanuel Whipple, Sr. He was a certified Usher Instructor and over the years, trained many young people in the intricacies of ushering. Sunday School and Bible Study were very important to Ollie and the scripture that he loved and lived by was Luke 6:31 NIV “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Bro. Beene continued with his love of the Usher’s Ministry at Calvary, and on Sunday mornings, you would usually find him dressed in his Usher’s uniform standing at his “post” ready to greet anyone who walked through the door. He always made you feel at home with his kindness and gentle smile. Many who knew Bro. Beene can remember that he was a bit of an unsuspecting jokester. He would sometimes sneak up behind you in church and whisper something funny to make you laugh out loud, all while he stood by looking innocent. He continued to serve in the Usher’s Ministry until his health failed.
In 1952, Ollie was employed by Silver Strand Concrete Company, which was co-owned by his father-in-law, the late Gabe Spikes. Ollie started his construction career as a Laborer but because of his hard work, attention to detail and dependability, he supervised many construction projects and was promoted to Journeyman Cement Finisher.
After 15 years of construction work, Ollie decided to seek employment at North Island Air Station where he worked as a Heavy-Duty Operator in the Transportation Department. Ollie was a dedicated employee who was often recognized for his work ethic, which was something he instilled in his children. In 1987, after 25 years of dedicated service and receiving many rewards and accolades, Ollie retired.
After his retirement, he was able to spend more time doing the things he loved. You could often find Ollie working in his garden, planting fresh vegetables and fruit. He also spent a lot of time tinkering around with his boat and RV making sure they were ready for the many fishing trips with his family and friends. Ollie had a reputation for perfectly maintaining anything he owned and was known for keeping his cars spotless. His children fondly remember being by his side while he was landscaping the lawn, and he was not finished until there was not a single blade of grass out of place. Anyone who knew Ollie will say that he was genuine, always kind, and humble. You would have to think long and hard to remember a time when you heard him raise his voice or saw him in a bad mood. He was not a man of many words but was not afraid to speak his mind and let you know how he felt. He enjoyed telling jokes and sometimes they were actually funny- but even if they were not, he was so tickled, people couldn’t help but laugh.
Ollie was called home to be with the Lord on June 11, 2020. He was surrounded by his family as he began his peaceful transition from work to reward. He is preceded in death by his parents, Leander Sr., and Louise Beene; brothers Edward Beene, John Beene, Leander Beene, Jr., Willie Beene, and Orville Beene; sisters Ida Rhoades, Margaret Holland, Mennie Jones, Dessie Parker, Rebecca Hudson, and Sarah Landers. He leaves to celebrate a well-lived life, his loving and devoted wife of 72 years, Christine; 2 children, Tyrone Beene (Deborah) and Diana Jones (Melvin, Sr.); his cherished buddy and brother, Eugene Beene; 5 grandchildren, JaNaya Eggert (Robert) Dionne Franklin, Ondria Vicencio (Guillermo), Melvin Jones, II (Donisha) and Melissa Clinton (Ryan); 10 great-grandchildren, Dominique Gallegos (Luis), Maurell Jones, Aijah Jones, Elijah Jones, Ava Vicencio, Naomi Vicencio, Ty Clinton, Myles Clinton, Alayjah Jones, and Aliyah Jones; great-great granddaughter, Kamille Gallegos; goddaughter, Theresa Young, many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, a host of other relatives, friends, and his Calvary Baptist Church family.
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