Press "Enter" to skip to content

James Robert Beene

Last updated on August 31, 2022

Share this story

James Robert (Bob) Beene, age 86, of Dallas, TX, passed away on August 19, 2022. He was born January 1, 1936, in Royse City, TX, to Helen Lucille (Heavin) and James Gilmer Beene. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend.

Bob grew up in Royse City, TX, and graduated from Royse City High School in 1953. He then attended East Texas State in Commerce on a football scholarship and graduated in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree. Shortly after graduating, he also obtained a master’s degree. During his college years, he met his future bride, Alma Ruth Hanby of Rockwall, TX. Soon after they were married in July of 1957, the United States Army drafted Bob and he proudly served. While in the Army he was stationed in Germany and was a standout player in the Army’s American Football League. After serving in the army, Bob returned to Texas and coached at several Dallas schools, as well as at Abilene High School. His last coaching job was at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas. He then went into school administration for the Dallas Independent School District, overseeing school elections in addition to working in the finance department. As integration began, he led the school district’s move to single-member board districts. He ultimately secured approval from the Justice Department after many trips to and meetings in Washington, D.C. The result was a fairer form of government for all voters in Dallas County. Bob developed trusted friendships across racial lines at a crucial time in the history of our area.

In 1978, Bob accepted an offer to be the Assistant Superintendent of Finance for the Arlington Independent School District, which was entering a period of great growth. He became an expert at school construction finance, successfully presenting and obtaining millions of dollars through bond issues. After retiring from the district, he continued to consult and present bond packages for districts around the country, frequently appearing at the New York bond rating services. He was involved in numerous business interests and investments throughout his life.

A follower of Jesus, Bob was active in the First Baptist Church of Arlington. He privately helped many people over the years. He dedicated his life to his family. He was a kind and loving dad who was always ready to help and made it clear that his family was his greatest source of pride. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity and a Mason. The leading point scorer in Royse City football history, Bob is a member of the Royse City High School Hall of Fame.

Bob is survived by his loving wife: Alma Ruth Hanby Beene; children: Robert Michael Beene and wife Elizabeth, and Angela Lee Beene Vermillion; four grandchildren: Laura Kate Vermillion Dietrich and husband Blake, Julie Vermillion Wilson and husband Clete, Natalie Vermillion Porter and husband Javan, and William Andrew Vermillion; six great-grandchildren; Hayes Marshall Wilson, Margaux Lily Dietrich, Paxton Lee Wilson, Halle Hudson Porter, Hadyn Elise Dietrich, and Ellis McBride Porter; and sister: Linda Ann Watkins and husband Bill and family; along with numerous nieces and nephews and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents.

The family would like to thank his wonderful doctors and his good friend and former player, Dr. Howard Moore, for all of their help and insight.

Graveside services will be held at 9:30am Sunday, August 28, 2022, at Peck Cemetery in Heath, TX.

Share this story