Maj. Gordon Ritter Beem ’50, who had distinguished careers in the military and in hospital administration, died on May 31, 2009, in Asheville, North Carolina.
He was born in Niles, Ohio, on February 1, 1927, and prepared for college at Deering High School in Portland. After Bowdoin, where he was James Bowdoin Scholar and a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, he went on to earn a master’s degree in public health from Yale University in 1961. He also completed two years of courses toward a doctorate at Pace University in the 1970s. He served 18 months in the Navy before joining the Air Force, where he served as a Medical Service Corps office with the 4th Fighter Wing in Kimpo, Korea. He served for 25 years before retiring as a major in 1970; he was awarded a Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters. In his civilian life, he had a 20-year career as a hospital executive in New York, Connecticut, and Michigan. From 1979 to 1981, he was chief executive officer of Appalachian Hall, a psychiatric hospital in Asheville. In 1983, he was named “Administrator of the Year” by the Psychiatric Institutes of America for his leadership as the first administrator of the Wavenly Care Center in New Canaan, Conn. He served as the chief operating officer of two hospitals and chief executive officer of four health organizations before retiring in 1990. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne Franklin Newton Beem; his former wife, Margaret Richard; two daughters, Andrea Beem and Mimi Herald; a son, Mark Gordon Beem; a sister, Janet Frost; a brother, Edgar Allen Beem Jr. ’49; and five grandchildren.