Amherst College mourns the passing of Ralph E. Beals, the Clarence Francis Professor of Economics, Emeritus, on Feb. 12, 2020. Beals joined the Amherst economics department in 1962. He served as acting dean of the faculty in 1988-89 and as acting president of the College in 1991. Upon Beals' retirement in 2002, President Tom Gerety paid tribute to him at commencement, noting his "highly regarded introductory textbook, Statistics for Economists" and his work in Indonesia as a "leading consultant on natural resources and tax reform."
Beals' family has provided the following obituary:
Ralph Everett Beals, born Oct. 30, 1936, passed away peacefully on Feb. 12, 2020, near his adopted home in Naples, Fla. Professor Beals was the oldest of the four children of Wendell E. Beals and Gratia M. (Burns) Beals, and spent his childhood in Lexington, Ky., where his father worked as a professor at the University of Kentucky.
Ralph graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1958, then earned his master’s degree at Northwestern University in 1959, and then his Ph.D at MIT in 1970.
Aside from his long career as a professor at Amherst College, which included a couple of interim stints as an acting administrator, Ralph spent many years consulting with foreign governments. The brunt of his foreign work was done in Indonesia, a country which both he and his family grew to be very fond of.
Ralph was both an avid sportsman and fan. He was a lifelong fan of the University of Kentucky, but his adopted Boston Red Sox were his favorite team. That passion is in fact how he ended up living in Naples, as he rarely missed spring training, and fell in love with the area during his spring visits to Fort Myers.
Ralph and his wife, Mildred A. "Mickey" (Hubbard) Beals, also loved to travel. In addition to their many trips to Indonesia, they spent much of their free time seeing the world, and in later years developed a love of river cruises.
Ralph was gregarious and was often seen with a huge smile on his face. He was generous in all ways, and always made time for his family, students and special causes. He is sorely missed by his family and friends.
In addition to wife Mickey, Ralph is survived by his children Jerry Beals of Belchertown, Mass., and Ellen Beals of Amherst, and his four beloved grandchildren, Jared Dalkas, Lacey Dalkas, Jack Beals and Leo Beals.
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