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Community mourning loss of Judge T. Mark Beetham

CADIZ — The community is mourning the loss of longtime Harrison County Court Judge T. Mark Beetham, who filled that role for nearly 20 years.

Beetham, 70, died Saturday due to a breakthrough case of COVID-19, according to his obituary.

After graduating Yale Law School in 1975, Beetham began his law career with his father, Thomas D. Beetham, at their family practice in Cadiz. From 1975-1981, he served as assistant prosecuting attorney for Harrison County. He went on to serve as solicitor for the villages of New Athens, Freeport and Cadiz.

Cadiz Mayor John Migliore was mayor when Beetham worked as solicitor for the village from 1985-1992. He said Beetham was a wonderful solicitor who helped the village accomplish many things through his efforts.

“The village is deeply saddened by his passing,” Migliore added.

In 1992, Beetham was appointed as the Harrison County Court Judge by Gov. George Voinovich and then by Gov. Rovert Taft in 2003.

He was elected to the position in 2004 and re-elected in 2006, 2012 and 2018. According to his obituary, being a lawyer and a judge was his highest calling.

Beetham was the longest serving county court judge in Harrison County history.

Harrison County Commissioner Paul Coffland, who not only worked with Beetham but was a longtime friend, said he was shocked and saddened by his passing.

“Harrison County has lost someone that has been a pillar of the community for a very long time, and he will be greatly missed,” Coffland said.

Coffland said he has known Beetham his entire life, as his parents and Beetham attended school together and were friends.

“When I was younger, I actually babysat for Judge Beetham and his wife, Vickie, for their older children. I’ve had a very long relationship with them,” he said.

He said he has always respected Beetham’s opinion, both professionally and on a personal level.

“I appreciated his advice on matters. If I ever had a question about whether it be something to do with the courthouse or something in life in general, you could count on Judge Beetham to give you sound advice,” he said.

Harrison County Sheriff Ronald “Joe” Myers said it is tragic that COVID-19 has taken Beetham. On behalf of the department, he said they send their deepest sympathies to his family.

The Harrison County Coal & Reclamation Historical Park offered its condolences on social media. Beetham donated his legal services to the organization throughout the years.

Visitation is set for noon to 3 p.m. Thursday at Clark-Kirkland-Barr Funeral Home, 172 S. Main St., Cadiz. Due to the circumstances of Beetham’s death, it is requested that all in attendance be vaccinated and masked.

A private committal of ashes will be held at the convenience of the family.

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