THERE'S AN old printing press in the basement of Joel Beamon's home in Logan.
"It's probably an antique," said his daughter, Joyce Beamon. "Nobody has touched it in years."
But the old press is kind of symbolic of what Joel Beamon was, a multi-talented, industrious guy who couldn't sit still.
"He always had two jobs, sometimes three," his daughter said.
He was a licensed practical nurse. That was his main job, but he also ran a catering business, worked as a cook, did photography and flower arrangements and cranked out printing on the press in the basement.
Joel E. Beamon Sr., who also coached amateur athletics in the North Philadelphia area, volunteered with the Sonny Hill and Baker basketball leagues, and was a hard-working, devoted family man, died Monday. He was 78.
He operated a seafood take-out store on Somerset Street near Warnock in the '60s.
In his rare spare time, Joel also put in time as a Democratic committeeman in North Philadelphia, worked the polls and campaigned for various Democratic candidates.
He put up with a lot of physical problems over the years, including knee and hip replacements, cancer, and triple heart bypass surgery in 2002. He hated the idea that his ailments kept him inactive.
"He was upset he couldn't get up and do stuff," his daughter said. "He always had something going on."
Joel was an outstanding cook. His pineapple upside-down cake was a family legend.
In the '70s, he worked as a cook for the company that ran the cafeteria in Temple University Hospital, then went off to work his shift there as a nurse.
He was born in Elizabeth City, N.C., the youngest of the 14 children of John Henry Beamon and Elizabeth James. The family moved to Philadelphia when he was 3.
He attended Bok Vocational High School, where he ran track. He dropped out, but later received his GED.
He studied nursing at the former Sacred Heart Hospital, in Norristown, where he was unfazed by being the only male in his class. He received his practical nursing license in 1962.
Asked why he wanted to be a nurse, his wife, the former Mary Elizabeth Taylor, could only say, "He was interested in medicine."
They were married on July 11, 1951.
As a nurse, Joel worked at various hospitals and nursing homes in the city, retiring about 15 years ago.
His coaching activities included working with children and young people in baseball, basketball and football in amateur leagues in North Philadelphia.
He and his daughter traveled with the Baker and Sonny Hill leagues when he volunteered with them in the '70s.
"He had me waving the penalty flags," Joyce said.
She described him as a very funny man and a great father. "He always took care of his kids," she said.
A longtime friend described him as "an engaging and charming guy."
Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by two sons, Joel Jr. and John; another daughter, Lynn Beamon; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was predeceased by another son, Stacey Beamon.
Services: Funeral Mass 10 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Hope Church, 5200 N. Broad St.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the church. *