Van Buren -
Joseph Reed Beaulieu, 92, died peacefully Tuesday, September 27, 2016, at his home. He was born on March 1, 1924 in Grand Isle, the son of the late Edmund and Annie (Corriveau) Beaulieu, where he lived for five years until the family moved to Van Buren, and was a 1942 graduate of Van Buren Boys High School.
His military career of 26 years started in February 1943, until his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in August 1968. His career service years began in 1943 with the Army Air Corps during World War II, flying bombing missions over most of Europe, as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress with the Mighty Eighth Air Force. After the war, he returned to Van Buren and worked for Madore's Electrical and was also self-employed.
In 1950 he was called back to active duty in the Air Force for the Korean Conflict where, once again, he flew many missions, this time as a Flight Engineer aboard the C-47 transport planes. Reed decided to make the military his career and was later stationed at Bolling AFB in Washington, D.C. and at Andrews AFB in Maryland, assigned to the 89th Air Lift Wing Special Air Missions (SAM FOX). Being a crew member of this elite and specialized group, Senior Master Sgt. Beaulieu flew such dignitaries as Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, Generals Eisenhower and Lemay and their families.
After retiring from years of service to his country, Reed and his family returned to Van Buren, where he held a number of jobs including employment with J. J. Paradis, Downeast Vending and Jerry's Flying Service (JFS). His passion for flying continued as a charter pilot and a flight instructor at JFS in Caribou from 1978 to 1981.
His love of the outdoors and camping eventually led him to serving four years as Scoutmaster and revitalizing the town's Scout Troop 196 to 75 members. During these four years of leadership, Troop 196 grew to be one of the state's largest troop and winning awards had become commonplace for the boys - most notably the Loring AFB Winterama Trophy three years in a row!!
Reed was an active member of the American Legion Post 49 and past board member of the Van Buren Housing Authority. Reed was often seen around town and on ATV trails with his constant companion and beloved beagle "BEAR", before his passing in November 2002.
He is survived by his loving wife of 34 years Rita M. (Sirois) Beaulieu of Van Buren; three sons, Michael and his wife, Brenda, of Springvale, ME, Daniel and his companion, Mona Ouellette, of Van Buren, ME, and David and his wife, Elaine, of Bangor, ME; four grandchildren, Ginger, Anette, Daniel and Natalie; two great-grandsons, Reed Frederick and Jase Poulin; four sisters, Jackie Martin and her husband, Ronald, of Stetson, ME, Jeannine McGinnis of Millinocket, ME, Yvette Fleming and Geneva Powers and her husband, Norman, of Beverly, MA; and one brother-in-law, Simon Bernier and fiancee, Bea. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, as well as sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. He was predeceased by his first wife, Rita I. (Dubay) Beaulieu, in 1981; one brother, Ronald, in 1966; and three sisters, Gladys Pelletier, in 1968, Idolande Bernier, in 1996, and Rita Maguire in 2007.
Reed's positive spirit and goodwill will be greatly missed everywhere. A great force in this universe has departed from us and is no doubt spreading his love and generosity at his new home. We loved him dearly ... but not nearly enough ... he will be missed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 7, 2016, at St. Bruno-St. Remi Catholic Church, Main Street, Van Buren, followed by military honors. Relatives and friends may greet the family Friday morning 10-10:45 a.m. at the church. Burial in Maine Veterans Cemetery-Caribou will be private and at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are a service of Lajoie Funeral Home, 118 High St., Van Buren. In lieu of flowers, donations in Reed's name may be made to a charity of one's choice. To share condolences online, please visit www.LajoieFuneralHome.com.