William Henry Bean, a dedicated public servant and beloved member of the Hardy County community, passed away on April 20, 2023, at the age of 69. William was born in Cumberland, MD on May 26, 1953, to parents Ralph Judy Bean and Carrie Rosetta Muntzing Bean.
William graduated from Moorefield High School in 1971. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Fairmont State University in 1975, where he was named the outstanding Political Science Major of the year. He then received a master’s degree in West Virginia History from West Virginia University in 1977, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University School of Law in 1980. Upon graduation from law school, he returned to Moorefield, WV where he joined his brother, Oscar, at the Bean and Bean Law Firm, which was started by their father Ralph J. Bean, Sr. in 1936. He was a member of the West Virginia State Bar for 43 years. As a prominent attorney, he practiced both criminal and domestic law from 1980-2023. In recent years he specialized primarily in real estate law. He served as Prosecuting Attorney of Hardy County from 1981-1988. While in law school, William was President of his law fraternity PAD, and served his second and third years of law school as class president.
William was an active member of his community, serving on various boards and committees. He served on the Regent 8 Board of Directors for many years; as Treasurer for Eastern West Virginia Community Action; on the board of EA Hawse Health Center for 27 years, serving as President of the Board for many of those years; on the Board of Directors for the Hardy County Historical Society for 25 years, serving as President or Vice-President for many of those years. He was a recipient of the Hardy County History Hero Award for his work with the Hardy County Historical Society and the Hardy County Tour and Crafts Association. William was instrumental in creating the Hardy County Historical Society Museum and making it a reality.
His love of history and his commitment to share history was evident in his interest of buildings, organizations, businesses, schools, and churches. He often shared pictures and historical facts about the county and Moorefield on his facebook page. A couple of his proudest achievements was serving as the Chair of the 100-year Courthouse Celebration in 2014 and as the Chair of the Remembrance of the 1985 Flood in 2010.
William was a life-long democrat and heavily involved in the Democratic Party in the county and the state. He served as the Chair of the Democratic Men’s Club and as Chair of the Executive Committee. He was often recognized for his dedication to his party, and in 2001, he was awarded as the Outstanding Democrat of the year.
William was also a dedicated member of the Lions Club, joining the Moorfield Lions Club in 1980. He received numerous Lions Club Recognitions, including Lion of the Year, President's Appreciation Awards, and Perfect Attendance Awards. In 2005, he was recognized as a Melvin Jones Fellow, the highest recognition given to a Lion by The International Melvin Jones Foundation for Humanitarian Service. William served as the Club President for two terms and as Zone 3 Chairman for District 29I. He was instrumental in developing the Moorefield Lions Disaster Relief Fund, which has assisted numerous individuals in need locally, in other parts of West Virginia, as well as nationally. He served as the Chair of the Moorefield Independence Day Celebration for over two decades. He also developed and chaired the Committee for The Moorefield Community Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration, one of his favorite yearly activities.
He was an avid sports fan and held season tickets to WVU basketball and football games. He was generous to share his tickets freely when he could not attend. He also was interested in Moorefield High School sports and attended football, baseball and basketball games. Bean and Bean Law Firm sponsored various sports teams in the community and William also enjoyed presenting the M.A. Bean Sports Award on the behalf of the family at the annual sports banquet.
William was a lifelong member of the Duffey Memorial United Methodist Church attending Sunday School and church there as a child and later becoming a Sunday School teacher himself. He was a student of the Bible and had a deep faith.
William spent much of his time over the years at his home at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, but in later years he was more devoted to gardening, cooking, staying physically active and spending time at his home in Moorefield with family and friends.
William is survived by his ex-wife and lifelong friend, Beth, his brother Ralph Judy Bean, Jr. (Barbara), children Katherine Carney, Dr. Jennifer Bean, Stephanie Bean, Ralph Judy III and brother Oscar Bean (Dixie), children Dr. Sarah Bean and Sally Bean. Predeceasing him in death was one sister Ada Katherine Bean Cleaver, children Judge Carrie Webster, Brent Webster and Lisa Cole and one brother, Dr. Howard Broughton Bean, children Brandon Bean and Lyndsay Bean along with great nieces and nephews and extended family and friends. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, and his memory will be cherished by the many lives he touched through his remarkable life of service.
A funeral service to celebrate William's life will be held at 11:00 am, on April 29, 2023, at the Duffey Memorial United Methodist Church, 100 N Elm Street with Pastor Mark Flynn, officiant. Interment will follow at the Olivet Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the Fraley Funeral Home Chapel, 107 Washington Street on Friday, April 28, 2023, from 4 – 7 pm.
Memorials can be made to Moorefield Lions Club, PO Box 452, Moorefield, WV 26836; Hardy County Historical Society, PO Box 4, Moorefield, WV 26836; or an organization of your choice.
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