Blaine Lee Beaman
July 28, 1942 — Sept. 7, 2013
Dr. Blaine Lee Beaman, 71, of Claremont (formerly Davis) passed away Sept. 7, 2013, after a long battle with progressive supranuclear palsy.
Blaine was born in Portland, Ore. on July 28, 1942. He grew up with his parents, Jack and Fern Beaman, and his brothers, Larry and Jay. Blaine lived much of his childhood in Mountain Home, Idaho, where he loved exploring the desert areas and collecting fossils and rocks. He often upset his mother by bringing home scorpions and snakes, and for his entire life he always over turned stones during a hike to find out what lived underneath.
Blaine graduated from Utah State University in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He then obtained his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Kansas in 1967. After finishing his Ph.D., Blaine continued his postdoctoral studies at New York University School of Medicine. It was during this time that he began studying the bacteria known as nocardia. Blaine spent much of his professional life studying and writing about nocardia, which he believed was a cause of Parkinson’s disease.
In 1970, Blaine accepted a faculty position at Georgetown University School of Medicine, teaching microbiology and studying nocardial pathogenesis.
In 1975, Blaine accepted a faculty position at UC Davis in microbiology. Blaine quickly became a full professor, and ultimately became the chairman of the department of medical microbiology and immunology, a position he held for nearly 15 years. He was passionate about his scientific research, co-authoring more than 200 papers before his retirement in 2008.
While Blaine was a teaching assistant in Kansas, he met the love of his life and future wife, LoVelle Lattimore. Blaine and LoVelle married on Dec. 29, 1965. Blaine and LoVelle’s family grew with the birth of their daughter Lori in Laurel, Md. in 1972. The family went on cross-country trips every summer to see family in the Midwest and to drive through national parks and Blaine’s favorite mountain ranges.
Blaine was an avid hiker and photographer. He took his big camera on nature trips throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. When he turned 40, he celebrated this milestone with a 40-day trek through the Himalayan Mountains. He canoed down the Amazon River, toured the Forbidden City of China (before it was open to the West), hiked in the mountains of Japan and crawled through grave robber’s tunnels beneath the pyramids of Egypt. Following Blaine’s retirement in 2008, Blaine and LoVelle toured Kenya with Blaine taking hundreds of pictures.
Blaine is survived by his wife LoVelle, daughter Lori Echavarria, son-in-law Camilo Echavarria, and two grandchildren — Sofia, 10, and Gabriel, 8.
Donations in tribute to Dr. Blaine Beaman may be made to the CurePSP organization, which is dedicated to curing progressive supranuclear palsy. Go to: http://www.psp.org/index.html.
Blaine was a dedicated scientist, and a caring husband, father, and grandfather who will be missed! His wonderful pictures continue to be enjoyed by his family.