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Thomas J. Beatson Jr.

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Thomas J. Beatson Jr. Obituary
Beatson, Thomas J. Jr.
(Phoenix, AZ) - Thomas J. Beatson, Jr., 83, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, July 25, 2016 at his home. Tom was the son of Thomas J. and Eleanor (Chesterman) Beatson and grew up in New Rochelle, New York, graduating from New Rochelle High School in 1950. Tom attended Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia, where he majored in electrical engineering, graduating with high honors. Following graduation, Tom was employed by General Electric as a test engineer. He qualified for the GE Advanced Engineering Program and later moved to work at the GE Computer Department Headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, where he made his home until the time of his death. Tom had a successful career there and retired from the company that bought his GE business unit, Honeywell, in 1987.

At the age of 10, Tom was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He recalled that he spent a month in the hospital after lapsing into a coma, following his diagnosis on December 7, 1942. Tom led an active life and never allowed diabetes to stop him from reaching his goals. In 1978, Tom developed a passion for sport cycling and recognized the health benefits available, while balancing additional challenges due to his type 1 diabetes. Tom kept meticulous records and was very proud to have logged over 100,000 cycling miles by 2010. Tom made countless friends through his participation in the Arizona Bicycle Club, where he served as an officer for many years.

Tom learned that the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Massachusetts awarded a special medal to recognize individuals who have lived with insulin-dependent diabetes for 50 or more years, to honor their accomplishments in diabetes management. In 1996, Tom was awarded his 50 year Medal, beginning a long and proud association with the Center. Tom became active in the Joslin Medalist program, and in the Joslin Medalist Study, where individuals who have survived fifty or more years with type 1 diabetes are being studied, to determine factors which may allow them to be resistant to the ravaging effects of diabetes. At the time of his death, Tom was planning a celebration in 2017 to mark his 75 years of living with type 1 diabetes.

Tom served on the Board of Overseers at the Joslin Diabetes Center for many years and became one of Joslin's top five philanthropists of all time. His philanthropy established a Playroom for children with diabetes as part of the Child Life Ambassador Program at Joslin, dedicated in honor of his mother Eleanor. His desire to find a cure for type 1 diabetes led him to establish several funds at Joslin, to carry on research into type 1 diabetes and its complications, research which continues at Joslin today.

Tom was active at The Terraces of Phoenix, a continuing care retirement community managed by American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW). Aware of the financial costs associated with living with and managing type 1 diabetes, Tom established the Beatson-ABHOW Type 1 Diabetes Fund last year, making grants available to improve the lives of team members, their dependent children, and residents diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, within the entire ABHOW family of continuing care communities and its affordable senior housing communities. Tom knew the importance of living a healthy, vibrant life. He wanted others impacted by the disease to be able to put aside their concerns over the expenses of managing a chronic disease and instead, focus on living successfully with type 1, as he had done. Setting up this fund allowed Tom to offer financial relief to those who shared his journey with type 1 diabetes.

Through the years, Tom had many close friends and associates who will remember him fondly. Tom will be greatly missed by his sister, Beverly (Beatson) Grossman and her husband Felix of California; nephews Peter Grossman and his wife Denise, and David Grossman and his wife Jennifer; and grand niece and nephew Kelly and Keith Grossman, all of Los Angeles, California.

Interment will be private and is under the direction of El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego California. A Memorial celebration will be held in Phoenix Arizona, on September 10, 2016 at The Terraces, 7550 N. 16th Street at 1:30 pm. Please RSVP to aschulte@abhow.com if you wish to attend. In lieu of flowers, Tom hoped that gifts would be made in his memory to:

Joslin Diabetes Center
One Joslin Place, Suite 745
Boston, MA 02215


Beatson-ABHOW Type 1 Diabetes Fund
ABHOW Foundation
6120 Stoneridge Mall Rd., #300
Pleasanton, CA. 94588
(Donate Now, Retirement Communities, Terraces of
Phoenix, Beatson Type 1 Diabetes Fund)
Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 14, 2016
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