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.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Sep. 27, 2017.