Harold Beal Jr.
Colonel Harold G. Beal Jr of Spring Lake Heights, passed away Sunday, September 10. Born in The Bronx on February 3, 1929, Harold was a proud U.S. Army veteran who was stationed in Germany, Virginia and New York in a 30-year active and reserve military career which included serving as the Associate Director of Admissions and Reserve Affairs Advisor from 1971-1978 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point he also served as head coach cross-country coach and was named the New York Colleges Coach of the Year in 1975. He continued his affiliation with West Point after moving to Spring Lake Heights in 1980 and was Academic Dean of the United States Military Academy Prep School at Ft. Monmouth through 1995 where he also served as the head cross-country coach.
While in the Army, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal among others.
Harold was a 1951 graduate of Fordham University and earned master's degrees from Columbia University in 1958 and CW Post in 1974. His military education included graduating from the Command and General Staff College in 1970, The Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1972 and the Air War College in 1973.A lifelong educator, he served in teaching, administrative and coaching roles at several schools including track & field coach at Bishop DuBois High School, a Latin and History teacher and track & field coach at All Hollows High School, and Assistant Principal, Latin and Social Studies teacher and track & field coach at Rye Neck High School where coached the school to its first Penn Relays championship. He continued educating well into his late 70s and volunteered his time teaching reading at the Asbury Park Boys & Girls Club and coaching the St. Catharine's elementary school cross-country team in his 80s.
Known as "Harry" to many, he was an accomplish basketball referee rising to the rank of a Big East official during the golden years of the Division 1 conference. An award-winning athlete, he was a marathoner and triathlete well into his 80s competing at the local, national and world class age-group levels.
Harold was inducted into the New York Catholic High Schools Hall of Fame in 2001 as well as the Westchester County High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He also received the Archdiocese of New York C.Y.O Volunteer Award from Cardinal Cooke.
He was a parishioner of St. Catharine & St. Margaret Parish in Spring Lake where he served as a lector.
He is predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Audrey. He is survived by three sisters Patricia Kelleher, Collette Cannon and Jane Casson, and seven children including Jeanne Weaver of Havre de Grace, MD, Harold Beal and his wife Patti of Milwaukee, WI, Catherine Cheney and her husband Joseph of Indio, CA, Jo Ann Beal and her husband Stephen Speechly of St. Augustine, FL, Matthew Beal and his wife Collette of Brick, NJ, Mark Beal and his wife Michele of Toms River, NJ, Christopher Beal and his wife Holly of Scarsdale, NY and 18 grandchildren and more than 20 great grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, September 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at O'Brien Funeral Home located at 2028 Route 35 North in Wall Township, NJ. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, September 15 at 9:00 a.m. at St. Catharine's Church, Spring Lake. Burial will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, NJ with Military Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Harold's name to the St. Catharine School Athletic Program, 301 2nd Avenue, Spring Lake, NJ 07762, attention Ellen Meixsell. Arrangements under the direction of O'Brien Funeral Home. For more info, visit www.OBrienFuneralHome.com.