December 7, 1917 To October 30, 2003
Copy of Program from Lynn Beedle's Memorial Service:
Copy of Program from Lynn's Graveside Service:
Pictures of Lynn's tombstone. What a wonderful tribute to Lynn and all that he accomplished during his lifetime!!!
Business & Labor
Lynn Beedle, Founder of Tall Buildings Council, Has Died at 85
Lynn S. Beedle, founder of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, died Oct. 30. He was 85.
Through Beedle’s leadership of over 30 years, the Council on Tall Buildings brought together the disparate elements of architecture, engineering, construction, environment, sociology, and politics in an ongoing effort to inform the rationale that underlies the construction of high-rise structures. He served as its first chairman until 1973 when he became director, serving until 1999.
It was not until. Beedle created the council in 1969 that the interdisciplinary fields relating to the planning and design of tall buildings were brought together to comprehensively study their every aspect. Through the council’s ongoing production of publications, monographs, conferences and international congresses, an enhanced and expanding knowledge of the tall building–as well as its effect on the urban environment–continues to flourish today.
Beedle also served as director of the Structural Stability Research Council for 25 years. The Structural Stability Research Council is credited with influencing most of the research, design and specification development that has occurred in the stability considerations for steel structures.
Both councils were headquartered at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., where Dr. Beedle was a professor on the engineering faculty for more than 50 years. In recognition of his professional and research achievements, he was appointed to a University Distinguished Professorship in 1978.
Beginning in the late 1940’s, he directed research at Lehigh’s Fritz Engineering Laboratory on the plastic behavior and design of steel structures. This research became the forerunner of all subsequent studies that led to the understanding and designing of steel structures based on their actual load-carrying capacity instead of on an allowable stress that only sometimes characterizes structural behavior. His students from that era now include many of the recognized leaders in limit-states design, load-and-resistance-factor design and autostress design. Beedle served as director of the Fritz Engineering Laboratory from 1960 to 1984.
Born in Orland, Calif., on Dec. 17, 1917, Beedle served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He commanded underwater explosion research at the Norfolk Shipyard in Virginia, then served as deputy officer-in-charge for the 1946 Bikini atomic bomb tests. He entered Lehigh University in 1947, where he received an MS degree in 1949 and a Ph.D. in 1952, majoring in structural engineering with a minor in metallurgy. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1952.
Highly honored throughout his career, Beedle was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1972 and received its John Fritz Medal in 1994. In 1999 he was selected by ENR as one of the "125 Top People" of the last 125 years. He was twice cited by ENR for contributions to the construction industry.
He was an honorary member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, which honored him with the OPAL Award for Lifetime Achievement in Management in 2002. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction. He was an Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering. He was the first recipient of the International Contributions Award from the Japan Society of Civil Engineers in 1994
Beedle authored, co-authored, and edited over 200 papers, articles and books, many of which have achieved international recognition and several of which have become classics. He authored Plastic Design of Steel Frames; was editor and co-author of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Manual 41, Plastic Design in Steel; was editor-in-chief of the several editions of Structural Stability: A World View; as well as editor-in-chief of Planning and Design of Tall Buildings, A Monograph in five Volumes of an eight-volume monograph series published by McGraw-Hill.
Beedle was also an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, Pa. According to his son, David, writing to professional colleagues and friends to inform them of his father's death, Beedle died at home, surrounded by his family. "Dad passed away peacefully in his sleep. Dad died just like he lived, with grace, honor and dignity."
"Dad never asked for recognition, wished for honors, or campaigned for awards. Throughout his career, it was always about the work. It was about contributing to the greater good and about advancing important knowledge. On his constant quest toward reaching this goal, he had a tremendous impact. We are so proud of him … as a father, a friend, an engineer, an inspiration and as a man."
Surviving are his wife, Ella; his daughter, Helen; his sons, Lynn Jr., Jonathan, David, and Edward; and nine grandchildren.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, Nov. 1, in Bethlehem, Pa. Memorials in Beedle’s honor may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem and to the American Cancer Society.
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Letters of Remembrance From Family Members:
From David Healy on November 4th, 2003:
After my proclamation about taking a hike up Mt. Tam to see the sun
From Lynn Jr., via Kirk Beedle on November 3rd, 2003:
Hi Kirk... Well.... we had representation from the west in Rick Beedle who just happened to be in AC and came up for the internment....and Dan Hildebrand who was there for the Memorial service...We made David Healy's redwood fronds, bay leaves and ferns that he picked from the area around the "cottage" in Mill Valley...and sent to us overnight....part of the service. Having Dan and Rick there made all the difference in the world...They represented everyone from the west...and it honestly felt as if you all....every one of you ....were there in spirit..... As late Friday a week ago..Oct 24th...dad was up and talking. Holly had come over, being recently engaged she was showing off her ring. Dad loved the whole scene, he got out a magnifying glass to admire her diamond.....Lindy and Torie had been looking at houses...they sat with him describing where the newest prospective home was and what it looked like. He was tracing the path from his house to theirs on paper...All my brothers , their wives and grandchildren were there. We used to get together and eat pizza and cheese steaks in the living room. Many of you have experienced this "ritual' and we did it again that night. while he sat up with us. That night he carefully put his signature on a recommendation for Fred Krietzburg (S.F. builder and architect) to nominate him for the Academy of Civil Engineers...and explained to us "that a nominee doesn't always get chosen on their first nomination"....my mother interrupted and said loudly " But YOU did in 1972!" and we all started clapping...it brought out such a smile. It was the last thing I saw him write. When he got fatigued we got him set up in the makeshift bedroom we put together in the dining room the Monday before. Over and over...he kept saying: "what a wonderful evening...what a wonderful night" We put him to bed and he was smiling.. we sat up a lot with him the last 2 weeks, holding his hand and just being nearby so he could hear us talking...we reminisced a lot about everything and anything and did a lot of laughing and crying. he was never alone... One of us had been sleeping nearby in the living room for a week before that to help out...and he was no trouble at all. He would apologize for being 'such a pain' and we would tell him that we wouldn't have it any other way. The last week Me , David, Jonathan and Edward camped out with him sleeping in chairs , on the floor...wherever there was room. Lindy came down from Norwich in Vermont to be there.. The last time Dad and I spoke was that Monday when I was sitting next to his bed... he looked at me and said " Hi, Lynn". I had been taking my hand and stroking his head: something he used to do to put me to sleep when I was a kid. I said to him, dad remember when I was a little boy and you used to come in and rub my head till I fell asleep? I kept doing it and after a pause he remembered and said " Oh, yeah"... We have all lost someone we never thought we would. Some of the letters you all have written are filled with priceless, touching and irreplaceable memories of my father..... We have saved each and every one and read them often.....memories of your brother...brother-in-law, your uncle...your friend. A man with boundless energy and enthusiasm...a man whose sense of family was so strong that he would travel the country just to be with us each in turn ...energizing us all so that even across these miles of separation today....somehow we are bound together like steel: a family in the truest meaning of the word. We are all so much better for having had him in our lives...if we could somehow have it: another 200 years wouldn't be enough more time. The words that were said at his memorial were heartfelt and revealing and gave us all a sense of the man who was. In attendance were giants from industry and academia, colleagues with tears in their eyes... There were just regular folks there...people who said "one time your father did (or said) this...and I never forgot it." ...old and young...some people I had never met before...others as familiar as family. There's not one of us who haven't gotten up before the dawn and trekked to some overlook or beach and watched the sun rise with my father. The first day he wasn't here any longer ...my brother Jon got Sandy and I out for the sunrise ...and...three thousand miles away...Don and company up north for the sunrise.......and David Healy said he would be on Mt Tam doing the same thing.
Kirk...I'm asking you to copy this short letter to everyone on the family list. You, like my Dad and my brother David ...keep up the correspondence when others like myself let it slide.
Thanks, Lynn Jr.
From Don Healy on November 2nd, 2003:
To honor the memory of Lynn Beedle, and to reflect upon the very important influence that he had upon the lives of each of us, Carol Healy, Don and Liz Healy, Marilyn and Monique Ramirez, Alissa Healy, and Teresa, Jessica and Lauren Haldorson all met at Green Lake in Seattle, early this morning, to walk around the lake and have breakfast together afterwards. As Lynn would have done, a sign-up sheet was provided, with a copy included below. Just a few years ago, Carol Healy, Jane Hildebrand, Lynn and myself made this same walk.
The Family of Lynn Beedle
To our wonderful family,
My father’s incredible and wonderful journey through life came to an end this morning. Dad passed away peacefully in his sleep at 12:30 AM. He was surrounded by his family -- in his own home -- free of pain and fear. Dad died just like he lived: with grace, honor and dignity.
Now he has undertaken a new journey to what lies ahead. And we smile to think of the zeal, gusto, and enthusiasm he will surely bring to his next great endeavor.
Your thoughts and prayers have been a constant source of strength to Dad, and to our family. We thank you so much for the incredible outpouring of love and affection that he was able to receive over these past months. Dad was truly blessed through all of you. And we will never forget what it meant to him… and to us.
Our family feels that a fitting tribute or obituary by respected national and international news organizations is appropriate and deserving. I am currently doing my best to be sure that the news of my father’s passing will be made known to the right people in the appropriate organizations so that he can be properly recognized.
My concern is that when this news comes from an immediate family member, it may not carry the same weight or importance as it would coming from the true leaders of the field on which he had such an impact: You -- his family, friends, and colleagues.
Our family’s simple request is that if any of you are contacted by – or have the means to communicate with – people or organizations that might write a fitting obituary for my father, that you would be able to assist them in some small way to help make it come about. Also, if you have any advice that might assist me in this matter it would be greatly appreciated.
Dad never asked for recognition, wished for honors, or campaigned for awards. Throughout his career, it was always about the work. It was about contributing to the greater good, and about advancing important knowledge. On his constant quest toward reaching this goal, he had a tremendous impact. We are so proud of him in so many ways. Proud of him as a father, a friend, an engineer, an inspiration, and as a man.
I am sending a letter to whatever contacts I have that might print his obituary. I am also in the process of writing the notice that will appear in our local newspaper here in Bethlehem. I wanted to include it with this message in the hopes of receiving any of your comments, but unfortunately I am finding that writing it has become be a very difficult thing to do. I hope you won’t mind if I send it to you later in the day.
Thanks to all of you for any help you can give to us. But most of all, thank you for your thoughts and prayers during these final days. You’ll never know the importance you held in his life; the energy you gave him with your brilliance; and the satisfaction he gained from a job well done.
From David Healy to Lynn Beedle on October 27th, 2003:
Here's a copy of a wonderful letter from Sherry Healy to Uncle Lynn on October 27th, 2003:
From Lynn Beedle on May 1st, 2003 (as usual, setting a fantastic example):