Julian Beecroft

Obituary of Julian Beecroft

BEECROFT, Julian Balfour Passed away at Perth Community Care Centre/Tayview Nursing Home on January 20, 2008 in his 100th year. Youngest son of the late Frank L. Beecroft and Eva G. Armour of Whitby, Julian was predeceased by his older brother Eric A. Beecroft of London Ontario in 2003 and his eldest son Eric Edmund of England in 2004. He is survived by his children Jane Beecroft of Bancroft, Norma Beecroft Turner of Orono, Stuart Beecroft of Toronto and Carolyn Allan of Whitby as well as 6 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Mr. David Lee of Ottawa and Ms. Ella Lee of Whitby will also miss Julian as he was sponsor and surrogate father to them. Born on March 19, 1908, Julian was schooled in Whitby and Toronto and became an extremely accomplished pianist by his early 20?s, so much so that he received an invitation from George Gershwin to visit him in New York. This potentially great career ended tragically in a woodworking accident in which he lost 3 fingers. Extremely creative, he turned to manufacturing ? first to boat building, photography equipment and furniture making, then to metal machining. He even built and operated the world?s first wire and tape voice recorders in the late 1920s but failed to patent them in time. The Second World War saw him managing large machine shops in Barrie and Collingwood making many parts for the Mosquito fighter/bomber. In 1931, he married Eleanor Norton of Toronto with whom he had 5 children. By 1947, the marriage collapsed and he returned to his father?s home in Whitby where he set up a machine shop of his own. It was here that he gained the reputation of an exceptional designer, machinist and problem solver. He designed and built devices, control systems and manufacturing processes for GE Plastics, Wayne Pump Company, Ford Motor Company, Montreal Star, Andrew Antenna, NutriProducts, Pal-O-Pak Industries, and many others. He secured several patents on hydraulic control systems, one of which was used in the assembly of the ill-fated Avro Arrow. In 1978, he relocated to Port Hope where he managed operations in the old Nicholson File Building. By 1984, he had moved to his property near Sharbot Lake where he lived until deteriorating health and encroaching blindness took him to the Perth Community Care Centre in Perth in 2005. Julian, a remarkable teacher, will be remembered for his amazing talent for ?thinking outside the box? ? able to solve almost any problem and devise methods for building anything, seldom charging enough to cover his costs. A gentle, thoughtful man, he was always generous with his time and willing to help anyone in need. The family wishes to thank the staff of the Tayview Nursing Home in Perth for their gracious care of Julian in the last 3 years. Friends will be received at the Allison Funeral Home, 103 Mill Street North, Port Hope on Saturday January 26, 2008 from 10 am until time of Funeral Service at 11 am. Interment, Port Hope Union Cemetery. If desired, memorial contributions may be made by cheque to the C.N.I.B. www.allisonfuneralhome.com