Gift of life: Sycamore man saves six people through organ donation

The Mid Week | Katrina J.E. Milton

Joy Beach of Sycamore stands next to a sign designating the John A. Beach II Memorial Highway. Beach and her family adopted Allen Road in Hampshire, the highway where John Beach II's fatal motorcycle crash took place last year.

Joy Beach of Sycamore remembers her son John Beach II, known as “John John,” as the kind of person who touched the lives of everyone he knew. From helping his preschool teacher shovel snow to fixing a water main break that left 15 inches of water in his neighbor’s basement, Joy Beach said her son was always good-hearted.

“He was always there to lend a hand, to help out, no matter what,” Beach said. “He wasn’t a football star, but a ton of people knew him and he was everyone’s friend. That’s just the way he was.”

John Beach II died Aug. 1, 2014, from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle crash in the early morning hours after his 22nd birthday. A welder and fabricator, he rode motorcycles since the age of 5 and built his own motorcycle when he was 18.

“He could fix anything,” Beach said. “He loved his dirt bike, farming and his horse. He was a country boy at heart. He made his own fender and built the motorcycle on a hydraulic lift in our family room. He built the bike using parts given to him from friends after helping them. He first started working on the motorcycle when he was 16, and he kept working on it because everything had to be perfect.” Continue reading