After a government career, Jill Beam describes becoming an entertainer, pageant queen in Episode 063

Today I am interviewing a fifth-generation Texas native who spent her career working in municipal recreation. After retiring, she entered the Miss Texas Senior America Pageant.

Jill Beam grew up in the spotlight, so to speak. Her father was a professional musician in the Fort Worth Symphony for 40 years, and her mother was a well-known speaker and actress in the local area.

As a result, she grew up around a lot of people and enjoyed being in the limelight herself. She went to college to get degrees in recreation and education. Eventually, Jill landed her dream job overseeing festivals, special events and dozens of recreation centers as well as 435 city parks.

Toward the end of her career, she became a trainer to advance a customer service initiative with the city’s 13,000 employees.

In 2015, Jill left that position, but she didn’t retire. Instead, she rewired and went to work for senior centers and retirement communities.

Eventually, Jill followed in her mother’s footsteps to become an entertainer, speaker and book reviewer.

Her crowning achievement was participating in the Miss Texas Senior America Pageant, which was an event Jill’s mother served as emcee for nearly 20 years.

I really enjoyed Jill’s comment that she didn’t retire, rather she rewired.

Rewiring is a great term because she didn’t abandon her former career. Instead, she used skills she utilized managing parks and recreation, and applied them toward senior centers as well.

After watching her mother thrive as a seasoned citizen, Jill followed in her footsteps to become an entertainer and storyteller herself.

Jill combined a love for reading with a passion for storytelling to deliver presentations to various clubs and service organizations. She describes books she’s read, plays she has enjoyed and experiences she’s had throughout her life.

Her involvement in the Miss Texas Senior America Pageant was a little different from traditional beauty pageants. Contestants need to be at least 60 to enter, and they compete in four categories: philosophy of life, evening gown, talent and an interview with the judges.

Still, Jill made her way into the Top 10, which opened the door for her to make public appearances and presentations around Texas.

For the pageant’s talent competition, Jill opted to sing a song from a Broadway play she and her mother had seen together, “The Drowsy Chaperone.” She sang “Show Off” while twirling a baton, tap dancing and playing the piccolo.

Following her participation in the pageant, Jill rewired again to write and publish her own book titled, “Growing Up Rumbley,” which highlighted her experiences as the daughter of Jack and Rosemary Rumbley. The book describes not only what it was like to have locally-famous parents, but also all the experiences Jill has enjoyed in her life.

For fun, she makes presentations to various groups. She titled one presentation “Laughter for the Health of it.” In it, Jill outlines the importance of laughter in life, and combines it with bits from several musicals. Another presentation is titled, “You’re Never too Old to Rock and Roll,” which describes the remarkable things older people have done later in life.

Jill based her life off the Bible passage found in Matthew 6:34, which says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Jill vows to live each day to the fullest and she reminds people life has no remote control; you have to get up and change it.

People can connect with Jill by email at and on Facebook. Her book, “Growing Up Rumbley,” is available on Amazon and other bookstores.

That’s all I have for this week’s show. If you’d like help in identifying a purpose for your life or to get help planning your next steps, I’m offering a complimentary brainstorming session to members of the Forward From 50 Facebook community. For details, connect with me on Facebook or visit

Thanks for listening!