Senior Johnstown council member, retired teacher and coach, community servant. Cletus Beam serves in all those roles and is about to add another. He has been selected as grand marshal of the 35th annual Johnstown Fireman's Festival Parade, to be held June 14.

Senior Johnstown council member, retired teacher and coach, community servant. Cletus Beam serves in all those roles and is about to add another. He has been selected as grand marshal of the 35th annual Johnstown Fireman's Festival Parade, to be held June 14.

Don Ryan, president of the Johnstown Fire Department Association, Inc., said Beam was chosen as a result of his dedication to the community.

"Cletus was chosen mostly because he taught here for so long and he has served in so many capacities for the village and schools," Ryan said. "He has been so dedicated to the schools and the community."

Beam told The Independent he was a little surprised to be named grand marshal, suggesting there are others who are more deserving.

"It was a nice surprise," he said. "It's quite an honor to be a part of that program. We have a grandson who's working -- he has an EMT license and will start soon on a paramedic license. Those people give a lot of themselves."

Beam has provided 35 years of service as a member of Johnstown Village Council, where he is the senior member. He won another term last fall.

Beam and his wife, Shirley, are long time residents of Johnstown, having moved to the village in 1957.

A graduate of Vandalia Butler High School in 1947, he started attending Miami Jacobs Business School two days later. While taking classes, he also worked third shift for Trans World Airlines.

He began classes at Otterbein College in 1949, graduating in 1953 with a bachelor's degree in education.

Beam began his teaching career at Miami Central School District, then after two years he returned to his high school alma mater.

Two years later, he came to the Johnstown-Monroe Local School District in 1957 and retired 29 years later in 1986.

During his tenure in Johnstown, Beam taught about every subject except foreign languages, finishing his career as a health and physical education teacher.

While teaching in Johnstown, he also coached all sports. Track was his final sport, and his dedication to the sport and his teams lives on in the Annual Cletus Beam Invitational held at the Johnstown track.

Beam married his wife, Shirley, in 1955. They have three children: Debbie, of Utica; Barb, of Pata-skala; and Ted, of Kentucky; and 10 grandchildren ranging in age from 25 years to four months.

An active member of the Miller United Methodist Church, Beam has taught the Jolly Circle Sunday School class for many years.

Most Thursday afternoons, he can be found reading to residents of the Northview Senior Living Center in Johnstown.

"I read about 40 minutes," he said. "I've been doing that for 20 years. The former activity director talked to me a long time ago about coming there to read stories to people."

He also shows 16-millimeter movies to residents twice a month, and he regularly plays gospel music at the center.

Beam previously served as mayor of Johnstown and as a member of the Johnstown Planning and Zoning Commission.

He's a member of the Columbus Zoo, Dawes Arboretum, the Weathervane Playhouse and Licking County Players.

The Johnstown Fireman's Festival will be held June 11-15, with the Miss Johnstown Pageant kicking off events on Tuesday, June 10, at the Performing Arts Center.

In the June 14 parade, Beam will travel in a vehicle driven by Teresa Dotson, behind the Johnstown American Legion Honor Guard.

The parade line-up will begin at 11 a.m. at the high school. The parade kicks off at 1 p.m.

The Fireman's Festival is sponsored by the Johnstown Fire Department Association, Inc., a nonprofit corporation composed of past members of the Johnstown Fire Department and present members of the Monroe Township Fire Department.

The association has its own slate of officers, and one of its main goals is to earn funds to help the community and the Monroe Township Fire Department purchase additional equipment and supplies.