May 4, 1946 – Oct 23, 2020
Richard “Rick” Knowles Beebe Jr., 74, passed away October 23, 2020, at his home in Santa Rosa. He was the husband of Pamela Cordts Beebe.
Rick was born May 4, 1946, in Torrington, CT, to the Rev. Richard Knowles and Jane (Rogers) Beebe. He grew up in Cornwall, CT, and Briarcliff, NY. Following in his father’s footsteps, he graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, in 1963 and Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, in 1967.
He served in the Peace Corps in Turkey from 1967 to 1969. In 1973, he received his master’s in counseling at Antioch University.
Rick and Pam met on vacation in Greece and were married in 1969 in San Mateo, CA, by Rick’s father, a Congregational minister. The couple lived in New England for nine years before moving to San Mateo. Rick worked as vice president of corporate communications at Bank of America in San Francisco until his retirement in 2001.
Rick was a longtime swim official, board member, webmaster, and times recognition chairman for Pacific Swimming. He was honored as volunteer of the year in 1991 and once officiated a world record by Michael Phelps. Rick was also an active choral singer. He sang with Masterworks Chorale in San Mateo and, after moving to Santa Rosa in 2003, was a member (and board member) of the Sonoma Bach Choir. In addition, he volunteered an advocate for Citizens Climate Lobby.
An avid backpacker, Rick (known on the trail as “Snowbird”) logged over 2,200 miles on all seven continents. Highlights included the Appalachian Trail from Mt. Katahdin to the Hudson River; the Tahoe Rim Trail; the John Muir Trail; the Tour du Mont Blanc; the Grand Canyon; the Pacific Crest Trail from Tuolomne Meadows to Echo Lake; Mt. Kilimanjaro; the Paine Circuit in Chile; the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal; the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Routeburn Track in New Zealand; the Walker’s Haute Route from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn; and one cold, wet night on the ice in Antarctica. Reflecting on his Tahoe Rim Trail hike in 2003, Rick wrote, “there were a few rocks, but overall, it was a very pleasant walk” – an observation he might also have made about his life as a whole. Though he lived more than half his life in California, he was a New Englander at heart. His reserved manner, practicality, and understated humor will be missed.
In addition to his wife, Rick is survived by his daughters, Jessica Beebe and her spouse, Gwendolyn Rino, of Oakland, CA, and Damaris Beebe Barbour and her husband, Brandon Barbour, of Millbrae, CA; and his brother, David Camp Beebe, of Amherst, MA.
Due to public health concerns, no in-person memorial service is planned. Friends may contact the family for information about an online celebration. Memorial contributions may be made to the Yosemite Conservancy (101 Montgomery Street, Suite 1700, San Francisco, CA 94104).
Published in Press Democrat on Nov. 8, 2020.