Willard A. Bill Beling
BELING, Willard A. Bill was born on March 16, 1919 and died peacefully at his home in Woodland Hills of congestive heart failure on July 1, 2009. He graduated from UCLA cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and earned his Master's degree and PhD from Princeton University. Dr. Beling did post-doctoral work in the Middle East and the University of Basel. He was an epigraphist on an expedition into Sinai and through Africa as described in an issue in 1948 of the National Geographic. Bill was an executive at Arabian American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia from 1949-1958. Dr. Beling joined the faculty at Harvard University from 1958-1960 and was a Professor of International Relations at USC from 1960-1985. While at USC he served as Director of the International Public Administration Program, which among other things, involved overseas internships for degree candidates. In 1976, he was appointed to the King Faisal Chair. He authored/edited eight books on the Middle East and was Editor of the Maghreb Digest Journal. In addition to Arabic, he was fluent in French and German. In 1985, after retiring from USC, Bill took on a new career as chairman of a philanthropic foundation. He continued to spend a lot of time overseas, particularly in France. As an avid golfer, Bill was a long-time member of the Woodland Hills Country Club and his many travels often included a game on a world-renowned course. In addition, Bill enjoyed downhill skiing with his family, well into his 80's, particularly in the Swiss Alps. Bill was a USC football fan and with his wife and daughters attended many home games. He was a bon vivant with a contagious joie de vivre. Bill made family central to his life and instilled in each family member an intense appreciation for the importance of higher education and personal integrity. He is survived by Betty, the love of his life and his wife of 62 years; his two daughters, Janna (Peter Sepsis) and Kristen (Bill Dougherty); two grandsons, Connor and Parker; and sister, Goldie (Reeser). He will be missed dearly and loved always by family, friends, and students. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Willard and Betty Beling Scholarship Fund, USC College Advancement, Attn Kim Alexander, 444 South Flower Street, 41st floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071. There will be a remembrance for Bill on July 18, 2009 from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. at the Woodland Hills Country Club.
Published by Los Angeles Times from Jul. 5 to Jul. 12, 2009.
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I am deeply saddened to have learned about Dr. Beling's death, as I've been trying to find out his status for some time. He was my favorite professor as both an undergrad and Grad student at USC and encouraged my overseas studies. He was also my father's favorite professor. "Dr. B" used to say, "be brave," whenever there was a particularly difficult challenge ahead, and I've always tried to follow that advice. He will, indeed, be greatly missed. (USC 1973, 1975)
Alysia Lazo-Korelc
July 21, 2009
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