Deceased January 17, 2015
Ernst G. Beier ’40 died Jan. 17, 2015. Ernie was from Breslau, Germany. At Amherst he was a member of the Ski Club (3, 4) and the Outing Club (4). Ernie was grateful for his education at Amherst, the consideration of the faculty and the friendship of the students. After the ill will and dangers he had experienced in Germany, Amherst was a healing experience.
After graduation from Amherst, he worked in the lab at Socony Oil then joined the 10th Mountain Division in Colorado. Later he transferred to the 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania) and deployed to Europe, where he was captured by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge.
He then got his Ph.D. in psychology at Columbia on the G.I. Bill. In 1953 he started the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of Utah, where he worked for 40 years. Ernie also taught at Syracuse University for five years. He published 100 research papers and several books (People Reading), got an honorary doctorate and was very active in the American Psychology Association.
Retiring at age 70, he continued his research, wrote an autobiography and traveled to collect information on primitive healing arts in Papua New Guinea, and Ecuador.
Ernie greatly enjoyed life, including sailing, skiing, trekking, traveling, visiting and interviewing shamans, piloting his own plane and writing books. He pursued these hobbies and maintained friendships from all over the world.
Having chaired many committees of the American Psychological Association, he was awarded the Carl Heiser award for Advocacy in Psychology.
Ernst had a wonderful sense of humor and a positive approach to life. He is survived by his wife, Frances; a son, Paul; a daughter, Lisa Jameson; and four grandchildren.
Larry Griesemer ’40