Elizabeth L. Beach, active in amateur theater

December 15, 1923 -- October 6, 2005

The Buffalo News / Wednesday, October 12, 2005 Obituaries

Elizabeth L. Beach, a Navy veteran of World War II, a businesswoman, teacher and amateur theater director, died Thursday in Millard Fillmore Hospital of cardiac arrest after surgery. She was 81.

A longtime Grand Island resident, she was born Elizabeth Armstrong in Indianapolis. After graduating from Marian College in Indianapolis, she enlisted in the Navy during World War II and was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she taught instrument flying. There, she met and married Navy pilot Edward Glaze. The marriage ended in divorce.

After the war, she joined the Army reserve and boasted honorable discharges from both the Navy and Army.

In Indianapolis, she taught speech and drama at two private girls schools. She also appeared on radio and TV.

In 1958, she married Robert Beach, and they moved to Grand Island, where Mrs. Beach and several friends founded the Island Theater Group.

Mrs. Beach was active in community theater for decades, both as an actress and as a director. She had her last leading role at age 80 in "Over the Tavern," produced by the Regional Theater Guild, with performances at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda.

Mrs. Beach worked for several years as an executive with the Girl Scout Council of Western New York.

In 1972, she and her husband founded Beach's Motorcycle Adventures Ltd., and over more than 26 years, they conducted 86 motorcycle tours of the Alps. They had their "farewell tour" in 2002.

A member of Mensa, Mrs. Beach was an active parishioner of St. Stephen Catholic Church on Grand Island and directed many holiday pageants, instructed altar boys and girls and frequently read at Mass. She was the founder of St. Stephen's Parish Players and directed many of their theatrical performances.

Survivors, in addition to her husband, include two daughters, Linda Richardson of Melfa, Va., and Elizabeth Glaze of San Francisco; two sons, Robert Jr. of Grand Island and Victor of Sunderland, MA.; a sister, Alma Mocas of Indianapolis; and four grandchildren.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m., October 29 in St. Stephen Church, 2100 Baseline Rd, Grand Island. Mrs. Beach donated her body to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Science's anatomical sciences department.

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