Nicholas Gruff

Nick was born in Vineland, NJ where he attended Millville Senior High School and graduated in 1999. After high school, Nick enlisted with the United States Coast Guard where he began a very successful and decorated career. While enlisted, Nick trained and exceled in the USCG obtaining the rank of Boatswain’s Mate Second Class. Nick was awarded numerous honors and prestigious recognition such as CG Good Conduct Medal; CG Pistol Expert Medal; CG Pistol Marksman Ribbon; CG Rifle Marksman; Coast Guard Achievement Medal; and CG SSAN Service Ribbon. In addition to those awards, Nick volunteered to be sent overseas for Operation Iraqi Freedom (WPB-1333) where he received the awards for Global War on Terror; Iraq Campaign Medal; National Defense Service Medal; and Transportation 9-11 Ribbon. He also completed 110-hour course for the USCG search and rescue personnel in EMT training in Petaluma, CA. After his many years of service to our country Nick was employed as a CTS for the Woodbine Developmental Center. Nick loved the water and enjoyed spending his summers at his camper at East Point Lighthouse, riding his jet ski, swimming in his pool and relaxing in his hot tub, cheering on his beloved Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies, traveling, cooking and grilling for his family and friends, the beach, and fishing and crabbing. The number one thing that Nick loved doing the most was taking care of and being a devoted, loving father to his beautiful daughter, Kamila Brook. Kamila was the light of Nick’s life and he adored her with all his heart. Nick called New Jersey home and is laid to rest in Leesburg, NJ. “My brother-in-law had a very long and grueling battle with PTSD which ultimately lead to his untimely death. During the weeks leading up to his passing, his paranoia and depression became so severe that he couldn’t go to work. The things he once loved so much he soon lost the drive for – like getting his pool ready for the upcoming season, or doing yard work, or taking a morning run. He would cry throughout the day and he suffered through spurts of anxiety and paranoia that he was being watched or investigated.The pure terror and state of despair was so evident at times, it was as if he was readying himself for combat. These episodes confirmed just how hard he was battling with his PTSD, but we never thought in a million years this would be the outcome.” Shared by Deanna

Nathan Beem

Nathan was an incredible human being, he was a friend to everyone, had no enemies and always had a smile on his face. He had a work ethic like no other and always succeeded at anything he did. He loved fishing, spending time on the water, was a college soccer player, loved snowboarding, surfing, and skateboarding. He was a leader on the soccer field and in the classroom. He graduated from College with a 3.8 with honors in Natural Resources Law Enforcement and entered the US Coast Guard in June 2018. He graduated from the CG with Foxtrot 196 and went onto his first assignment at Fairport, Grand River. He loved the Coast Guard and his shipmates. Nathan never expressed any signs of anxiety or depression ever in his lifetime. He was always the one that was there for someone. He left behind a note that something happened to him in 2017 – that he was carrying a burden and he just could not live any longer. We have no idea what could have taken him from us, but he took his life August 24, 2018. We are still in shock and cannot believe he is no longer with us. He left behind a sister and niece and a family that loved him dearly. We were very close as a family and were completely blindsided by what occurred. It is so important that we continue to raise awareness and erase the stigma that military need to be quiet about mental health. I am certain that my son had never been in a dark place before, but felt trapped and not able to talk to anyone due to his active duty status. I wish he had come forward and talked to us. We would have done anything to keep him here with us. He loved his Country and the Coast Guard. He was a great person. He will be missed by many. (shared by his mother, Heather) From his obituary:Nathan D. Beem , age 21, of Xenia, OH, passed away in his favorite place, Ellsworth MI on Friday August 24, 2018. He was born November 27, 1996 in Kettering, OH, the son of Daniel and Heather Beem. Nathan was an avid outdoorsman who spent any free time fishing, hunting, kayaking, surfing, golfing, enjoying dirt track racing and snowboarding. Nathan began playing soccer when he was 5 years old. His youth years were spent at Club X Soccer on the Predators team which gave him the foundation to continue playing at a higher level. He played high school soccer for Xenia High School and was a leader and team captain. He played all four high school years for the Ohio Galaxies. The Galaxies team was ranked Nationally and gave him the opportunity to play soccer in college. He went on to play at the collegiate level at Mount Vernon Nazarene University on an academic and athletic scholarship. Those years helped form lifelong friendships in his soccer family.Nathan transferred to Hocking College to change his major and completed his Associate Degree in Natural Resources Law Enforcement in May 2018, graduating with honors. Nathan swore into the US Coast Guard in 2017 and entered basic training in Cape May, NJ in June 2018. He was a member of the color guard and proudly carried the POW MIA flag. He graduated from basic training August 3, 2018 and was stationed at Coast Guard Station Fairport on Lake Erie. Although he was only there a short time, he was dedicated to his mission, and loved all the people he met and spoke highly of his shipmates and Chief. Nathan was a family man, rooted in his belief in God and enjoyed his time with his family and friends. He was an honest, humble, diligent, hardworking man. He had a tender heart and sweet spirit, but yet strong and deliberate. He never had an enemy, was a peacemaker and had many friends that were very special to him. He dearly loved his sister Kristin and little niece Ellie. He was known as nay-nay to many. He was a blessing to all that had the opportunity to know him. Nathan grew up spending his summers in Northern MI. From the time he was born he grew to know and love the area. Nathan frequently talked about his future and his desire to own property there someday. He knew the lakes so well he could have easily been a fishing guide and knew all the good fishing holes. He began fishing the Chain of Lakes at a young age and was known as Nate the fisherman by many. Nathan is survived by his sister, Kristin E. Beem and niece Ellie V. Beem, father Daniel L. Beem, mother Heather K Beem, grandmother Marilyn R. Meyer, grandmother Shirley A. Beem, grandfather Douglas A. Beem, uncle Greg S. Beem and aunt Liz Beem, uncle John Meyer, and cousins Maxwell, Jadyn and James. He is also survived by many close friends and his USCG shipmates. Nathan’s love for Northern Michigan drew him home on Friday August 24th to the place he loved and wanted to be. Nathan loved the peace and tranquility he found in the woods and on the lakes of Northern Michigan. We ask that in lieu of flowers donations be directed to the Little Traverse Conservancy in his honor. States close to his heart: Michigan, Ohio, Florida Final Rest: “Nathan was cremated, his remains were scattered on Lake Charlevoix, Charlevoix, MI on Hemmingway Pointe where he wanted to be. It was his favorite fishing location and he loved Northern MI.”