Beach - Robert D., Sr.

June 20, 1923 -- December 9, 2012
Bob Beach

The Buffalo News / December 30, 2012 Obituaries

Robert D. Beach, Sr., a Grand Island, NY businessman & Commercial pilot died on Dec 9, 2012.

Bob was born in Indianapolis, IN where he met his wife, Elizabeth Armstrong Glaze, after he had returned from pilot training in the navy.

Bob was instrumental in establishing several businesses in WNY; Niagara Falls Aviation, Inc., a passenger & freight charter aviation company in Niagara Falls, the Miniature Train Rental Co., Inc. which leased small electric trains to carry children in major Department stores, and Beach’s Motorcycle Adventures, Ltd. This company creates & conducts motorcycle tours in various parts of the world. His son, Robert Jr., is now operating this business.

After a stint as jet engine instructor for the Allison Div. of General Motors in Indianapolis he founded the House of Bronze in Carmel, IN. This business was involved in the design, production & sales of cast bronze items for homes & industry.

In 1954 Bob accepted a position as company pilot & sales representative for the Miniature Train Co. of Rensselaer, IN. This company manufactured miniature trains for municipal parks, zoos & major amusement parks. A year later this company was sold to the Allan Herschell Co. of North Tonawanda, NY who was the world’s largest manufacturer of amusement rides. Bob then became company pilot & Midwest sales representative for many years until it was sold to Chance Manufacturing Co. in Wichita, KS.

For more than 12 years Bob was a Deputy Sheriff (volunteer in their Aviation Division) in Buffalo, NY. For 13 years he was an active member of the Grand Island School Board in their Night School department. For 22 years he was a director & a past president of the West River Homeowners Association. He also was a past president of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce & had been an active member of the Grand Island Rotary Club. He was a 32nd degree Mason & a member of Mensa International.

Bob has donated his body to UB. A memorial will be held on January 26, 2013.

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