Ethel's Story

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Ethel M. Autry Beechwood, age 90, of Joplin, Mo., passed away on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, following an illness.
Ethel was born on May 26, 1926, in Bessemer, Ala., the daughter of the late Hobson and Beatrice (McDougal) Autry.
She married Floyd F. Beechwood on May 18, 1948, and together they had one son, Gregg Beechwood.
She owned and operated Beechwood Acres Ranch, Mid Western Machinery, Inc., Diesel Supply Company, and Herrod Packing Company, she retired on March 18, 1993. She was a longtime member of First Baptist Church. She was also a member of the Twin Hills Country Club and the Joplin Women's Club.
Ethel was an accomplished businesswoman. She was named Boss of the year by the American Business Woman's Association and is listed among Who's Who of American Women. She was Past Trustee of Freeman Hospital, Past President of Joplin United Way, Past Director of Joplin Chamber of Commerce, and Past Director of First National Bank and Trust.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd F. Beechwood, in 1965; three brothers, Fred C. Autry, Ralph Cox, and Walter H. Autry; four nephews, Joe A. Dean, Dr. Walter Autry, Edwin Autry, and Stephen Autry.
Ethel is survived by her son, Gregg Beechwood and wife, Terri, Joplin; nieces and nephews, Linda Dean, Gaye Ruff and husband, David, Margaret Smolik and husband, Joe, T.W. Autry, Rebecca Autry, and Marcia Autry; four great-nieces, seven great-nephews, four great-great-nieces and two great-great-nephews.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the many special caregivers, who were dear friends.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at Mason-Woodard Chapel. Reverend Jamie Tickle will officiate. Burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery. The pallbearers will be Seth Dean, Matthew Dean, Adam Ruff, David Ruff, Toby Euting, and Dr. James Lewis. The visitation will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mason-Woodard Chapel, prior to the service.
Memorial contributions may be given to the First Baptist Church Building Fund.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Crematory.
Published on February 17, 2017
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