Monday, August 8, 2022

Altus Juanette Beal, 95, led an adventurous career with the U.S. State Department

Altus Juanette Beal
Altus Juanette Beal

Altus Juanette Beal, 95, beloved mother, aunt and great-aunt, passed away Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Williamsburg. Altus was born Feb. 14, 1922, in Sallis, Miss., to the late Leo Andrew Ackerman and Sarah Etta Ackerman (nee Roby).

Altus served in the U.S. Naval Reserves during the Korean War. She retired from the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., after serving in U.S. administrations from Roosevelt to Nixon and was assigned to the staff that traveled to San Francisco, Calif., in April 1945 to assist in the drafting of the United Nations charter.

Following her work helping draft the U.N. charter, she was assigned to New York City to assist in the establishment of the United Nations headquarters, under the direction of Eleanor Roosevelt. She later served in the U.S Foreign Service. Altus also served on the Mental Health Board of Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg.

Altus was preceded in death by her husband, Mahlon B. Beal; brothers, Paul Ackerman, Cornelius Ackerman and Jack Ackerman; sister, Rosa Apone-Peck; half-brothers and half-sisters, Marvin, John, Pauline, Cathaleen, Mary and Eulala (Totsie) Ackerman.

Altus is survived by her son, Thomas Ellett Beal of Williamsburg, born to Altus on her Valentine’s birthday in 1954. Altus, a loving and devoted mother, tirelessly attended to the needs of her son, Thomas, throughout her life. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Altus was a self-sustaining woman having lost her husband, Mahlon, in 1983. She was an astute financial business woman and generous in support of her extended family over many years. Altus had a shy but observant sense of humor and would often enjoy a knowing laugh after quietly listening to a comedic quip that belied her otherwise reserved demeanor. She lived for many years in Arlington, Va., and also lived in Richmond, Va., and Denver, Colo. Altus attended St. Bede church in Williamsburg for many years, accompanied by her son Thomas. She will be sadly missed by family and friends at Morningside Assisted living.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at Bucktrout Funeral Home, 4124 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg, where a funeral will follow at 4 p.m. Interment will be held in the Beal family plot at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at the Fairfax Memorial Park, Fairfax, Va.

In lieu flowers, donations may be made to House of Mercy, 10 Harrison Ave., Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Online condolences may be shared at

Related Articles