Joanne Beach

Joanne Marie Beach, 78, of West Point, Iowa passed away at 9:14 p.m. Friday, November 10, 2023 at her home surrounded by her family.

She was born on August 4, 1945 in Fort Madison, Iowa, the daughter of Mary (Peggy) Lampe & Lloyd Brown. She grew up in West Point, Iowa and graduated high school in 1963. After high school Joanne enrolled in the nursing program at the University of Iowa and graduated with her nursing degree in 1965.

Survivors include her two children: Mary Lou (Jeff) Birdsell of Montrose, Iowa and James Bechtel of West Point, Iowa; four grandchildren: Danielle (Ian) Kreps of Fort Madison, Iowa, Caleb Birdsell of Montrose, Iowa, Jessy (Billy) Foutch of Bushnell of Illinois, and April Birdsell of Good Hope, Illinois; five great grandchildren: Rhett, Finnley, Jace, Scarlett, and Remi; sister Sue (Tom) Newton of Iowa City, Iowa, and niece Laura (Adam) Kahler and children Owen, Mason, and Addy. She is also survived by several cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, stepfather Dale Turner, and sister Nancy Ratkowski.

Joanne began her nursing career at Sacred Heart Hospital in Fort Madison, she then changed directions and started to work in private practice for several doctors in West Point and Fort Madison. Eventually Joanne decided she wanted to work closer to home and she began working at the West Point Care Center. She was an excellent nurse and often received requests from family members to care for their loved ones.

Joanne married Ronald Bechtel in 1966 in West Point, they had two children together, they later divorced. Joanne married the love of her life Dick Beach on September 30, 1977. They met through mutual friends. She told her family that she had met her soulmate. Dick owned Beach Quarry, where she worked with Dick after she retired from nursing. They enjoyed each others company whether it was joy riding, fishing, gardening, or watching TV, as long as they were doing it together. Dick preceded her in death July 2009.

She had many interests in life including golf cart riding which was her favorite, reading, playing euchre especially when she was on the winning team, gardening, canning, and spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.  Monday, November 13, 2023 at the Schmitz Funeral Home, West Point, Iowa.

The family will receive friends 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in West Point.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with Father Dan Dorau as celebrant.

Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

Memorials have been established in her memory for St. Mary’s Catholic Church or Calvary Cemetery.

Schmitz Funeral Home of West Point is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at