G. Beach Gattman, M.D., 94, of Elkhart, went to his heavenly home on Saturday, December 22, 2018.
Beach was born June 26, 1924 to the late Catherine Wilma (Beach) and Louis A. Gattman in Guyton, GA. He was also preceded in death by his son, Steven Allen, his brother and sister in law, Mr. and Mrs. Louis A. Gattman Jr, his mother and father in law, Ruth and Hugo Bloedel, his sisters and brothers in law, Lois M. Bloedel Wright, Hugo D. Bloedel and Donald E. G. Bloedel, Marianne Bloedel Papke and other family and friends.
In 1940 as a junior in high school, he joined the Naval Reserves. His family was a service family. His mother served as a WAC in WWI, his father a Major in the U. S. Army in WWI, WWII and Korea and his older brother, Louis A. Gattman Jr. was a Seabee. In 1941, at the start of his senior year in high school the Naval Reserves were activated. Beach served his country from 1940-1946 during WWII. He was commissioned Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserves from 1947-1956. He graduated from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC and the Medical University of South Carolina. He served his internship and Pediatric Residency at General Hospital in Indianapolis and Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. Beach practiced pediatrics with Dr. Glenn Patrick from 1954 until 1962 and became a partner and continued practicing medicine at the Elkhart Clinic from 1962 until 1996.
Beach loved children and loved being a pediatrician. His patients and their parents loved and respected him. He was an outstanding diagnostician and was never afraid to refer patients to another physician. To be called Dr. Beach was always an honor.
Elkhart was a wonderful place to live and work. He served as volunteer pediatrician at the Child Health Society for 20 years and was a member of: the County Cystic Fibrosis Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of the Elkhart County March of Dimes, the American Legion, Co-President (with his wife) of West Side Junior High School PTA, Chairman of the Board of Parish Education at Trinity Lutheran School, President of the Board of Directors of the Family Counseling Society, served as the Chief of Staff at Elkhart General Hospital two times, served as a Trustee for the Indiana State Medical Association and the American Medical Association. In his retirement, he volunteered as a pediatrician at the new Heart City Health Center. He and his family were members of Elcona Country Club for thirty-eight years. They were also members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Elkhart, the Hilltop Lutheran Church of the Ascension in South Bend and the Hope Lutheran Church in Bonita Springs, FL. On July 2, 1980, Beach was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s highest honor.
On October 30, 1954, Beach married Ruth Bloedel at the Berea Lutheran Church in St. Louis, MO by Ruth’s father, Rev. Hugo Bloedel. Both Beach and Ruth enjoyed traveling extensively in the United States and throughout the world. They especially enjoyed the many years they spent in Florida after retirement.
Beach is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ruth and their children: David Edward (Bunny) Gattman of Orlando, FL, Gregory Beach (Karyn) Gattman of Columbia, SC, James Donald (Anne) Gattman of Maplewood, MN and Glenn Patrick (Sandy) Gattman of Shipshewana. He is also loved and remembered by his grandchildren: Elizabeth Ann Gattman Nowling (Sean), Daniel Ryan (Lindsay) Gattman, Aiszlynne Grace Gattman, Steven Allen Gattman II, Alexander Richard Gattman, Timothy Beach Gattman, Daniel Beach Gattman, Peter McNeill Gattman, Luke Patrick Gattman and Grace Catherine Ruth Gattman and his great grandchildren, James Robert Nowling, Finn Steven Knowling, Alyssa, Seth, Kellan and Alice Winquist and Cory and Chason Geyer.
At his wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends on Friday, December 28th from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 29th at 11:00 a.m. at the Hilltop Lutheran Church 4114 S. Ironwood Dr. South Bend.
Memorial contributions in memory of Beach may be made to Hilltop Lutheran Church, Elkhart General Hospital Foundation or the Community Foundation of Elkhart County P.O. Box 2932 Elkhart, IN 46515 or the Center for Hospice Care 501 Comfort Place Mishawaka, IN 46545.
Online condolences may be sent at www.hartzlergutermuthinman.com.
Hilltop Lutheran Church
4114 S. Ironwood Drive, South Bend IN 46614
Elkhart General Hospital Foundation
600 East Blvd Box 1329, Elkhart IN 46515
Community Foundation of Elkhart County
PO Box 2932, Elkhart IN 46515
Center for Hospice
501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka IN 46545