William Edgar Beamer
1940 - 2017
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William Edgar Bill' Beamer July 19, 1940 - September 18, 2017 San Diego William Edgar Beamer, the only child of Harrison Hill Beamer and Grace Enola Shepherd, was born in Whittier, California, on July 19, 1940. In 1958, Bill graduated from Whittier High School, where he captained the tennis team and edited the high school newspaper. Bill then attended Stanford University, where he majored in Political Science, on a Navy ROTC scholarship. While at Stanford, Bill spent two quarters studying abroad in France. He graduated in 1962 and soon thereafter was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy.Bill served four years in the Navy as a surface warfare officer aboard the flagship cruiser USS Providence (CLG-6) and the destroyer USS Towers (DDG-9). Both ships were actively engaged in the Vietnam War. Young Lieutenant Beamer took great pride in his stint as Navigator. In July 1967, Bill married his high school and college classmate, Sharon Lynn Giles, in Whittier. The young couple subsequently moved to Berkeley, California, and Bill earned his law degree at University of California (Boalt Hall), graduating in 1969.Following law school, Bill was recruited to Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye in San Diego. Bill and Sharon first moved to a small house in Point Loma, then shortly afterward to Mission Hills, where they have resided ever since. Bill became a partner in Gray Cary's Trust and Estate department in 1975. In 1996, Bill left Gray Cary to start a new estate planning firm, Beamer, Lauth & Steinley. He led the new firm for 17 years, finally retiring in 2013.Throughout his career, Bill was universally known as a consummate professional, a trusted legal advisor, a dedicated community volunteer, and a generous mentor to younger colleagues. His more prominent professional and philanthropic accomplishments included: President of La Jolla Town Council; Fellow of American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC) for six years; General Counsel to the Board of Trustees of the Zoological Society of San Diego (1995-2013); President of La Jolla Rotary Club (1974-75); President of San Diego Rotary Club 33 (1994-95); President and Board member of The Parker Foundation (1983-2014); founding Board member and Chair of Mercy Hospital Foundation; and President and Board member of UC San Diego Foundation.Bill adored his wife Sharon and their sons William (born 1970), Jonathan (1973), and Michael (1976). Over the years, Bill attended innumerable soccer, basketball, football, and baseball games at Francis Parker School, where all three boys were lifers. Bill loved the outdoors, particularly when he had the opportunity to be in nature with his family. He especially relished long weekends at their Idyllwild cabin, bodysurfing at Mission Beach, hiking/backpacking in the San Jacinto Mountains and the Sierras, and Saturday morning doubles at San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club. Like many of us, he was a long-suffering fan of the Padres and Chargers. Bill's inquisitive mind and witty sense of humor were legendary. He loved puns and wordplay. His wife and sons generally refused to play Scrabble with him. Fortunately for them, he occasionally lost at other games he enjoyed, such as cribbage, nerts, and Yahtzee.Bill and Sharon loved traveling together, and had the opportunity to visit Alaska, China, Vietnam, Thailand, many parts of Europe, Africa, and New Zealand. Frequent stays at the Napili Kai Resort on Maui were highlights for the Beamer family. A particularly memorable time was an 11-week road trip across the United States with Sharon and the three boys during the summer of 1987 as part of Bill's sabbatical year from Gray Cary.Bill passed away peacefully on September 18th at age 77. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sharon; son William (Jennifer) of San Diego; son Jonathan (Heather) of Piedmont, California; son Michael (Catherine) of San Diego; and 11 wonderful grandchildren: Andrew, Abigail, Elaine, Lyla, Claire, Elliot, Adele, Oliver, Lucas, Giles, and David.A celebration of Bill's life will be held at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, October 10th at San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the following charitable organizations: San Diego Natural History Museum, Scripps Mercy Hospital Foundation, San Diego River Park Foundation, and San Diego Zoo Global.

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Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Sep. 27, 2017.
Celebration of Life
05:30 PM
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
February 26, 2021
RIP, William. Your grandmother, Bertha Myrtle Hutson Shepherd, was my grandfather's older sister. My condolences to the Beamer family from the Hutson in Sesser, Illinois.
Jan Hartsell
September 15, 2018
Please accept my sincere condolences to the family and friends. Losing a loved one in death is never easy. One day many will have the opportunity to live again. May the hope of everlasting life sustain and comfort you during this difficult time. (John 17:3).
April 12, 2018
Mr. Beamer was a generous, kind, knowledgeable man, someone who cared deeply about the work done in the non-profit (for-purpose) world. He was important to a lot of us in the field. I am sad to have learned of his passing.
John Highkin
October 9, 2017
Top editorial prize was won by Bill Beamer (left). Los Angeles City College Annual Press Day. 1955
This is a little crazy...I have known Bill since high school, but haven't seen him since! So many parallels: Whittier High, Stanford, living in San Diego County, Frances Parker School, three sons, etc. My love to all the family and my thanks for writing such a beautiful story of his life and achievements. A remarkable man.
Meredyth (Myers) Devin
October 2, 2017
Sharon, and family...knowing Bill since our Stanford NROTC days is a treasure I shall have forever.. I, shall always remember our weekends together in Idylwild. I feel like knowing him both personally and professionally doubles my memory bank account. The world is a little smaller place without him, but our loss is Heaven 's gain . Heaven will treat him as he deserves to be treated, with great respect and admiration.
Fondly, Fred Betts
Fred Betts
September 30, 2017
Sharon and Family, I meet Bill recently , as a friend of my uncle who shared the Padres and many endearing qualities. My uncle and Bill have recently passed but their humor, intellect, encouragement, and generous spirits live on in their family , friends, and beloved San Diego . Susan McConnell
Susan McConnell
September 28, 2017
Sharon et al.:
Bill was a fantastic guy and will be sorely missed by us all. My heart goes out to you in this sad time.

Bill Thomas
September 27, 2017
My sympathies to the Beamer Family. Bill was a wonderful man, husband , father; he will be missed.
Jane Wetzel
September 27, 2017
My sincere condolences to the Beamer Family for the loss of
Bill. He will be missed by many.
Bill & Bonnie Cole
September 27, 2017
My condolences to the Beamerfamily. May God provide his care and comfort you each day. - Ps 145:18,19
September 27, 2017
My condolences for your loss of Bill. As you know, he was a fine person and a very good attorney.
Lon Showley
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