Donald M. Beardwood '55

Deceased October 26, 2006

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In Memory

Don Beardwood passed away on October 26, 2006, at Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, PA.  He and his family lived in Willow Grove, PA.  Don was a medical doctor and a leader in the treatment and research of diabetes.  At Abington Memorial Hospital, he specialized in internal medicine and endocrinology.

Don was born and raised in Philadelphia and was a 1951 graduate of Germantown Friends School along with Carl Wolff, his freshman year roommate in North College.  Carl remembers Don “as an optimistic, happy person with a delightful sense of humor.  There was never any doubt in his mind that he was going to be a doctor, just like his father.  Don tried to have his Dad’s sensitive warmth, but he was more introverted.  It is safe to say that everyone who knew Don liked him, and he loved his years at Amherst.” Alling Brown lived in North as well, and both pledged Alpha Delta Phi together.  Alling says that “Don stands out in my mind because he was always so friendly toward me.  I also liked him because he seemed very smart.  For our age, he struck me as both wise and solid, very ready to chortle, and even let out a brief laugh occasionally.”

Dave Ormsby recollects Don’s excellence as a fullback on the undefeated and unscored upon freshman soccer team.  The next three years he played a fullback anchor role on the varsity soccer team.  His academic major was biology.  Don was a focused, dedicated pre-med student.  Dave Ormsby roomed with Don at Alpha Delt and remembers Don’s quiet strength and also his sense of humor when he used his chemical knowledge each winter to keep a gallon of apple cider and appropriate yeast on the AD fire escape to provide seasonal warmth and cheer.  Don’s family spent summers on Nantucket where they often saw Bob Jedrey.  Don graduated from Amherst magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and Sigma Xi.

After Amherst, Don completed his medical studies in 1959 at the Univ. of Pennsylvania medical school, where he roomed with Dick Heilman for two years.  He interned at Abington Memorial Hospital and was also chief resident there.  He was a fellow in internal medicine at the Lahey Clinic in Boston where he also had fellowships at the Joslin Clinic and Harvard Medical School.  He was an assistant in medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.  Don was appointed instructor of medicine and clinical assistant professor at Temple Univ. School of Medicine Division of Metabolic Diseases in Philadelphia from 1965 to 1968.  He was a member of the American Diabetes Association from 1966 to his retirement.

At the funeral on October 30, I met his lovely wife Josephine (Jo), and his three daughters Ainsley, Kimberley, and Holly Noordsy.  All three went to Middlebury College, and they have kept Vermont in their lives with skiing and hiking.  His son Don was in London.  Also, I met his two stepsons, Griggs and Wayne Levy, and two granddaughters, Lauren and Morgan.  The whole family was friendly, warm, and together.

Many classmates have communicated about Don.  Collectively, all felt that he was a wonderful person.  Descriptive terms such as wise, solid, friendly, smart, and unassuming were repeated.  He was admired and respected by all who knew him.  He was a deep and very private person.

On behalf of our Class of 1955, we offer profound sympathy to Don’s wife, Jo, and family.  We shall have an endearing remembrance of him.

Charles P. Pydych ’55