In Memoriam – Laurence Beede

Northampton, MA — Laurence Ivan Beede

July 16, 1933 – March 4, 2022

Larry was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. Following college in Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Technology, he moved to Denver in 1955, where he met Beth, the love of his life and wife of more than 66 years. Later that year he joined the Air Force, ultimately flying a Grumman Albatross in the 10th Air Rescue Group out of Anchorage, AK. While in Alaska, Larry and Beth filed under the homestead act and built a dream home, largely by hand, with sweeping views of Cook Inlet and the mountains surrounding Anchorage. Like many such adventures, once the homestead project was complete, they began to look for their next adventure. This resulted in a return to graduate school at the University of Washington, to start a 5-decade academic career. Earning his PhD at the University of Connecticut, Larry specialized in Medical Anthropology, with a focus on health care equality for underserved communities.

After moving to Northampton, MA, Larry found his academic home at Hampshire College, where he enjoyed a long career, continually inspired by students, fellow faculty and staff. Larry served as Hampshire’s Associate Dean of Faculty from 1983 to 2004, responsible for the administrative and financial management of the division of Academic Affairs. He served under two presidents and three deans of faculty and mentored many younger colleagues. Larry also played a central role in envisioning and establishing the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning, a national collaboration of alternative colleges and universities for which Hampshire was one of the founding schools and the lead institution. Following his retirement, two endowed scholarships – the Larry Beede Scholarship for Southwest Studies and the Larry and Beth Beede Scholarship – were set up by his coworkers, friends, and family, to support the college he enjoyed so much.

In addition to his academic career, Larry was an accomplished artist and maker, known to his friends and family especially for his detailed tin sculptures. Larry and his wife Beth traveled extensively, often to quite remote and unusual destinations from Barrow, AK to the deserts of Mongolia to the South Island of New Zealand and more than 30 countries in between. Through their travels they made countless friends throughout the world.

Larry and Beth have been very active in Northampton and the Pioneer Valley supporting many area organizations such as the Northampton Survival Center, Food Bank of Western, MA, CISA and the International Language Institute of MA.

Larry leaves his loving wife Beth Beede, daughter Shayne Beede and her husband George Bowers, son Bob Beede and his wife Fraser Bennett Beede, grandson Ivan Auer and his fiancée Sara Buettmann, Nephew Charles Wiemeyer, his wife Maurine Malone and their children Henry and Lola, along with numerous friends.

A memorial service for Larry will be held at a later date, to be announced.