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WINTHROP, Beekman 73, of Luray, SC, Washington, DC and North Haven, ME, died on May 6, 2014 at his Washington, DC home of complications of metastatic kidney cancer. Born in Boston, the son of Serita Bartlett and Nathaniel Thayer Winthrop, Beekman was an 11th generation direct descendant of the first Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor, John Winthrop, and his namesake, a great uncle, was the first governor of Puerto Rico. He attended The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, and went on to receive a BA from Columbia University and an MS in Urban Planning from Columbia School of Architecture. After a brief enrollment in the Harvard Divinity School, he left to pursue writing, inspired by the work of Robert Coles on race relations in the South. In 1971 he won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Problems of Poverty and Discrimination for a New South magazine article on intestinal parasites in poor black children on the developing resort island of Hilton Head. In 1972, concerned community members brought to his attention the murder of an 18-year-old black youth in a town near his family's SC property. Beekmans persistence and partnership with the press to expose the injustice ultimately led to the indictment of two white men. His involvement was later highly fictionalized in a reporter's book and movie. Beekman went on to form a small investment advisory firm where he worked as a manager and trustee until his retirement, after which he continued work as a private investor. Beekman lived in Washington for 42 years following his 1969 marriage to Phoebe Jane Wood of Boulder, CO, who survives him. Also surviving him are his son, Dudley (Jennifer) of Washington DC, and two granddaughters, Kay Taylor, and Serafina. He is also survived by three brothers, John (Elizabeth) of Charleston, SC, Nathaniel (Martha) of Montpelier, VT, and Stephen (Jane Williamson) of Wayland, MA, and three sisters, Serita of Rhinebeck, NY and Lake Wales FL, Katharine of Bernardsville, NJ & Cornelia of New York City. Both of his parents and one brother, Matthew, of Boston, MA, predeceased him. A memorial service will be held June 13 at 11:30 am at St. Alban's Church, 3100 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC. Services in Maine and South Carolina will follow later. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to North Haven Conservation Partners, PO Box 336, North Haven, ME 04853 or the .
Published in The Boston Globe on May 18, 2014
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