1976 – 2020
William Tyler Beam, devoted father to Tyler and Ellie Beam, passed away peacefully at home during the early morning hours of June 19, 2020. Tyler courageously battled brain cancer for more than twenty years and was loved and admired by everyone who was fortunate enough to cross his path. He was known for his unwavering courage, incredible strength and endless charm. Tyler lived every day to the fullest, choosing to spend his cancer journey living rather than dying which was evident in every choice he made. There was no playbook that he followed. He lived his life his way, full of love, laughter and determination.
Tyler was a dancer, an athlete and a lover of music. He loved to laugh and he loved to cry. He loved to hug but he could also fight. He was stubborn yet gentle, charismatic and loyal. Tyler was open and welcoming in sharing his battle, particularly with those he didn’t know well.
Born on December 10, 1976 in Louisville, Kentucky to Taffy and John Beam, Tyler was a gifted athlete, spending his youth excelling at football, basketball, baseball and track and field. He attended Louisville Collegiate School and Woodberry Forest School, where he was captain of the varsity football team. He earned 1st Team All Prep honors and was recognized as one of the top wide receivers in the state of Virginia. He continued his education at the University of Alabama, where he was a walk-on football player. He was also a member of SAE fraternity.
Tyler was a valued member of Brown-Forman’s Corporate Communications team for more than 13 years, serving as Senior Communications Analyst. He was loved both personally and professionally and was well respected by his colleagues. The Beam family is sincerely grateful to Brown-Forman whose support and compassion for Tyler will never be forgotten.
Tyler’s greatest passion was helping the cancer community at large. He was a founding board member of the Louisville chapter of Gilda’s Club, where he invested much of his time and energy helping raise significant funds for the Louisville cancer community. He embraced being an advocate for cancer, giving hope to others facing similar struggles. However, Tyler chose not to let cancer define him as he preferred to be known as a doting father, reliable friend and loving son.
To be loved by Tyler meant that he had your back at all times and that you were the recipient of unconditional love. Tyler valued friendship and family, and that love was reciprocated and evident in all of the support he received throughout his life.
Tyler reserved his greatest and purest love for his two children, Tyler and Ellie. He was proud to be their father, cherishing them and leaving them with the legacy of loyalty and love.
Tyler is survived by his children William Tyler Beam Jr. and Eleanor Eastman Beam, his parents John Greer Beam Jr. and Teresa Sprow Beam, his brother John Greer Beam III, sister-in-law Kate Browne Beam and their three children, Mary McPherson Beam, John Greer Beam IV, Louisa Williams Beam and his beloved Eliza Beth Sweitzer.
The Beam family is eternally indebted to Dr. Renato Larocca, the nurses and staff at Norton Cancer Institute, Dr. Mary Barry and Dr. Allan Friedman for their extraordinary care, as well as the Hosparus team, especially Amanda Scharf, nurse Sandie Winters, and caregiver Aji Mbye.
A private ceremony will be held at Cane Station. There will be a celebration of Tyler’s life at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the Beam family would like for you to consider gifts in Tyler’s honor to Gilda’s Club, 2440 Grinstead Drive, Louisville, KY 40204 or Woodberry Forest School, 898 Woodberry Forest Rd., Woodberry Forest, VA 22989.