Charles Beach, Jr. was born in Beattyville, July 4, 1919. He graduated from Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia in 1940 and was assigned to the 602nd Pack Artillery Battalion, a unit of the 10th Mountain Division (ski troops and Light Infantry) at Camp Carson, Colorado in 1942. In 1943 he was deployed to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. In May, 1944, he was wounded in action at Minturno, Italy and spent eight months in a military hospital. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
After his release from active duty, Beach was assigned to the US Army Reserve. In 1957 he was re-commissioned in the US Army as a major and in 1961 his unit was called to active duty for the Berlin Crisis. In 1976, he became the 18th Commander of the 100th Division, the All KY Army Reserve Training Division and promoted to the rank of major general.
In civilian life, General Beach was the chairman of Peoples Exchange Bank & Insurance. He also served as president of the Beattyville/Lee County Chamber of Commerce for 58 consecutive years. He devoted his life to community service and his state. Some of the organizations he served include: Board of Health, Kentucky River District Health; Governor John Y. Brown’s Transportation Task Force; Kentucky Registry of Election Finance as Chairman; Congressman Rogers’ Southern Kentucky Economic Development Advisory Council; Governor Paul Patton’s Council on Quality and Efficiency in Government; Kentucky Association of Area Development Districts as Chairman; and President, Kentucky River Area Development Fund.
In 1979, General Beach was elected the first chairman of the Kentuckians for Better Transportation Board of Trustees which was instrumental in the organization’s early development. He was later elected to the Board of Directors in in 1981 and served as chairman of the membership committee: more than 100 new members joined KBT in that year. He was elected chairman of the KBT Board of Directors in 1985 and continued to provide outstanding leadership to KBT. He spent 30 years of his life as a tireless advocate for transportation issues, especially for improvement of Ky 30 from London to Beattyville.
General Beach died on Veterans Day in 2009. He is survived by his son, Charles Beach, III and his wife, Helen; his daughter Elizabeth Beach Baker and her husband, Tom; and grandchildren, Carrie Baker Tydings and her husband George, Jr.; Hunter Baker Boone and husband Weston; Taylor Beach Moloney and husband Michael; Charles Beach, IV; and Thomas Frazier Baker, V.