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Obituary for Dwight Beman

Ponca City Now - June 20, 2018 3:14 pm

Dwight E. Beman

July 12, 1947 – June 19, 2018

Dwight Earl Beman, age 70, resident of Ponca City, passed away on Tuesday, June 19. 2018 in Ponca City.

Private family services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home and Crematory.

Dwight was born on July 12, 1947 to Earl Oscar Beman and Elizabeth Faye Pierce Beman in Blackwell, OK. He was raised in Ponca City, attending First Christian Church where singing in the choir, inspired his love for vocal music. After becoming an Eagle Scout, he graduated from Ponca City High School in 1965. After high school, Dwight studied opera while attending Phillips University in Enid, OK, graduating in 1969. Shortly thereafter, Dwight was drafted into the US Army. In 1971 he was a clerk at the Test Branch of the United States Army Arctic Test Center in Fort Greeley, Alaska. Upon his honorable discharge, Dwight returned to school to complete his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 1973 at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He was a District Winner and Regional Finalist of the Rocky Mountain Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions in 1973. While in Boulder, he met a young woman from Ossining, NY, named Mary Chilton Havemeyer. Mimi, as she was known, was studying medieval Italian literature at CU. Dwight and Mimi were married in 1973 on the island of Nantucket, MA. Then, the couple moved to Bloomington, IN, to attend Indiana University, both pursuing post-graduate degrees in their chosen fields. While at IU, Dwight performed as Parsifal and in other operas. Next, they moved to New York City, where they lived with Mimi’s maternal grandmother while Dwight, as he once said, “sought fame and fortune, finding neither.” When Mimi’s parents passed away, they left her their bookstore, Mitchell’s Book Corner, on Nantucket. Eventually, with their two daughters (and a third on the way) they settled on the island, where Dwight became a local celebrity, singing often for events in the community. In 2007, Dwight took up acting, appearing in stage productions on Nantucket, such as I Hate Hamlet and The Graduate. After Mimi passed away on March 31, 2010, Dwight eventually moved back to his hometown of Ponca City with his daughter, Anne, his son-in-law, and two grandchildren (with a third on the way). He resided in Ponca from 2015 until his passing.

In addition to singing, Dwight spent over 30 years studying his family’s genealogical history, inspired by the work his own grandfather Dale shared with him when he was a boy. Countless hours were spent scouring available resources, leading to surprising discoveries that told the stories of the family tree. More than anything, Dwight was a loving husband, father, and, of course, grandfather. Although his role as Grandpa never changed, his name evolved from Natalya’s Ampa to Rodney’s Crampa to Gavyn’s Papa.

Survivors include his beloved daughters: Elizabeth Beman of Putnam, CT, Mary Allen (Allie) Beman of Philadelphia, Anne Nina-Bruin and husband Daniel of Ponca City; cherished grandchildren, Natalya Elizabeth Nina, Rodney Allen Nina, and Gavyn Russell Bruin; treasured sister, Claire Russell and husband Ron of Ponca City; nephew Todd Russell of Enid and niece Kari Russell Henson of St. Louis.

Dwight was preceded in death by his adored wife Mimi, parents, brother Rodney Paul Beman, maternal grandparents William Dale Pierce and Gladys Faye Probasco Pierce and paternal grandparents Oscar Seth Beman and Helen Underside Beman.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in support of one of Dwight’s passions. To support Dwight’s love of animals, especially his puppies, please contribute to Ponca City Humane Society. To support women, children, and families in crisis, please contribute to Survivor Resource Network. To support music in Ponca City, please contribute to First Christian Church Choir.

Source: Trout Funeral Home