Lee Beem


A Mass of Christian Burial for 85-year old Lee Beem of Emmetsburg, IA, will be held Sat Oct 21, 2023 at 10:30 CT at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Emmetsburg with Rev Paul Kelly the Celebrant. 

Inurnment will be in St John’s Catholic Cemetery in Emmetsburg, Iowa. 

Visitation is Friday, October 20, 2023 from 4:00-7:00 at Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg, with a Knights of Columbus Rosary at 6:30 

Online condolences may be left at 

Lee E Beem was born April 19, 1938, to Earnest Lee and Lois C (Boyer) Beem in Hornick, IA. As a young boy, Lee’s family moved to Edgemont, SD, where he completed his education, graduating from Edgemont High School in 1956. 

He went on to attend Chadron State College in Nebraska, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1960. Lee began his teaching career in Potter, NE, then he moved to Ellsworth, KS, in 1962. 

While living in Ellsworth, Lee was united in marriage to Angeline “Angie” Donovan on June 3, 1963 in Morrowville, Kansas. They were blessed with four children. 

Lee and Angie remained in Kansas until 1965 when Lee earned his Masters Degree from the University of South Dakota and accepted teaching positions at Emmetsburg High School and Emmetsburg Community College.

He taught Speech, English, Debate and Extracurricular Speech until 1973 when he began selling insurance for the Knights of Columbus, which he continued for a decade until he found his true calling – working with glass.

Lee owned and operated The Glass Shop in Emmetsburg from 1984 until his retirement in 2020. He was a talented glazier, specializing in stained glass projects as well as doing all types of glass repair. Lee’s creative artwork can be seen in countless homes, churches, and schools throughout the area. 

He loved to share his stained glass shamrocks with residents moving to Emmetsburg as well as those just visiting town. He gave away nearly 300 shamrocks each year starting in 1989. Lee also very generously donated his artwork to fundraisers and benefits. 

Lee was a devoted and faithful member of Holy Family Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He joined the Knights of Columbus in 1964 and went on to serve as Grand Knight, past Grand Knight, District Deputy, First Chairman of Campaign for the Mentally Handicapped, past State Family member and 4th Degree past Navigator. 

He was also an active member and served as president of the Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Bureau, and the Palo Alto County Historical Society. He also served as the Palo Alto County Representative for Area 2-3 Regional Workforce Board, serving as president for many years. Lee was a charter member of the KEMB LP radio board. He was honored with the Governor’s Award for Volunteerism.

Lee’s is survived by his wife Angie of Emmetsburg; his children Coleen Ruddy (Doug) of Emmetsburg; Anna Peden (Chris) of Horizon City, TX; Toni Hayes (James) of Hot Springs, SD; and Earnest “Earnie” Beem (Sheila D’Angelo) of Simi Valley, CA; his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, John Ruddy (Sara) and their children, Finnegan and Fallon, Rachel Ruddy, Kelly Peden, James Hayes, Kayla and Angelina Beem; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law Lawana Beem, Joyce Donovan, Caroline Applegarth, and Helen and Randy Duncan. 

Lee was preceded in death by his parents; brother Donald Beem; father-in-law and mother-inlaw Anthony and Geneva Donovan; and brother-in-law Elmer Applegarth. 

Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg is in charge of arrangements for Lee Beem.