Obituary: Richard Sidney Beal Jr., professor emeritus

Richard Beal

Richard Sidney Beal Jr., professor emeritus, died Jan. 29, 2015, in Wenatchee, Wash. He was 98.

Dr. Beal was born in Victor, Colo., to Richard Sr. and Mona Lelia (Ballfinch) Beal on May 7, 1916. Before his second birthday, his parents moved to Tucson, where his father had been called to pastor the First Baptist Church.

In 1941, Dr. Beal married Wilma Juhree (Billie) Gibbons of Tucson. He entered the ministry in 1941, first becoming pastor of the Grace Baptist Church of Phoenix, then of the First Baptist Church of Flagstaff.

Dr. Beal’s teaching career began in 1947 at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. In 1948, he took a teaching position at the San Francisco Baptist College and began work on a Ph.D. in entomology at the University of California, Berkeley. On completing his doctorate, he became a professor of systematic theology at Denver Seminary. In 1956, he was invited to work as a research entomologist for the Department of Agriculture with assignment to the Smithsonian Institution, where he worked until 1958, when he became a professor of zoology at Arizona State University.

In 1962, he transferred to Northern Arizona University. In 1965, he worked in research and in graduate studies, a role he held until his retirement at NAU in 1982. He also was a professor emeritus in the department of Biological Sciences.

His wife, Billie, passed away in 1986 after a lengthy illness. That year he became an interim pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Cornona, Calif. In 1987, he married his longtime friend Evorine Brewer. They moved to Lakewood, Colo., where both were on the faculty of Colorado Christian University until their retirements in 1994. The couple moved to East Wenatchee, Wash., to be close to family in 2011.

In his retirement, he enjoyed studying beetles and published several articles in scientific journals. He also authored four books. His greatest delight came from teaching the Bible.

In addition to his first wife, Dr. Beal was preceded in death by his son Richard III, his brothers Charles and David, and his sister Betty Thieme. He is survived by his sister Margaret Ryan of Riverside, Calif.; his son Andrew (Nancy) Beal of Denver; and his beloved wife Evorine of East Wenatchee. He also leaves three stepchildren; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. March 21, at Eastmont Baptist Church in East Wenatchee. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Dick’s memory to the Eastmont Baptist Church’s Hispanic ministry, 400 S. Kentucky Ave., East Wenatchee, WA 98802.