Dr. Richard A. Beauchamp, PhD
Norfolk - Richard A. Beauchamp died from complications of Parkinson's Disease on Friday, December 23, 2016. He was at home and at peace, surrounded by his beloved wife, Mary Meekins Beauchamp and other family and friends. In addition to his wife Richard is survived by son John Beauchamp, daughter Shannon Beauchamp, step-sons Homer McNeely, Andrew McNeely, and Evan Lightner (Kate), grandchildren Aaron Beauchamp, Matthew Beauchamp, Desmond Moffie, Rowan Lightner, brothers Wallace (Louise), Steve (Nita), and numerous friends. He was the son of the late Reverend Luke Granberry Beauchamp and Marjorie Clifton Beauchamp.
Richard's education was extensive with a B.A. from Randolph Macon College, an M.Div from Yale University School of Theology, and a PhD in Ethics from Duke University.
He was always a prodigious reader, devouring books like candy. He loved music as well, enjoying the cultural opportunities available during his last active years in downtown Norfolk. For most of his life, he particularly enjoyed the mountains, hiking many trails with friends and family. He continued to love camping in spite of a memorable encounter with a bear who wished to separate him from his sleeping bag. The bear had a change of heart. In his last years Richard enjoyed the less adventurous treats of reading books while watching the ocean at the Outer Banks.
Kind and patient, a gentleman in the truest sense of gentle man, he valued civility and courtesy. He was tolerant of differing opinions. For himself he valued independence and self-reliance to a fault, but he was unfailingly willing to help others. He was not combative by nature, but he took an early courageous stance for civil rights and insisted that all be treated with respect. His deep devotion led him to many positions of service in his church.
Richard was a man of considerable intellect. Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, he won many scholarships and awards, and produced many publications. Yet he best fitted Chaucer's description of the Clerk: "And gladly would he learn, and gladly teach." With a number of talents, he proved himself able in several careers which were crowned by 22 years at Christopher Newport University, where he became a tenured Professor of Philosophy. A lecturer of humor and grace, Dr. Beauchamp had a vocabulary that both awed students and encouraged them to stretch their own. He was a longtime favorite instructor for CNU's Lifelong Learning Society and served the university in many other capacities.
The joy of his life was philosophical discussion. In frequent national and international trips to professional conferences he delighted in exploring ideas with colleagues interested in Personalist Philosophy. He always brought clarity to conversations and coherence to thought. After retirement, as long he was able, he enjoyed leading philosophical and theological study groups, intellectual stimulation for adults.
Richard faced an especially cruel disease with a valiant spirit. He made the long passage through Parkinson's with grace and courage, coping with the disease in a matter-of-fact uncomplaining way. Finally, he was grateful for the help of a number of wonderful caregivers and the services of Hospice and Palliative Care of Tidewater. He will be sorely missed as he now goes with God.
A Memorial Service will be held on January 5, at 11:00 a.m. at Christ and St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 560 West Olney Road, Norfolk, VA 23507. Contributions in his honor can be made to the church. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel is assisting with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.hdoliver.com