Ocean Beach 11

Daniel N. Beshers

August 13, 1928 ~ January 4, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old

Daniel Beshers Obituary

Daniel N. Beshers, age 95, died peacefully in his sleep on January 4, 2024.  He was born August 13, 1928 in Chicago IL to Hugh Monahan Beshers and Caroline (Newson) Beshers.  His early childhood was spent mostly on Aruba, where Hugh, a civil engineer, helped to build and run an oil refinery.  Daniel had two younger brothers, James and Eric, both deceased.  When he was 12 the family settled in Washington, DC, where he attended junior high and Woodrow Wilson high school.  Daniel attended Swarthmore College (BA in Mathematics, 1949) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned an MS (1951) and Ph.D. (1955) in Physics.  He spent one year at the Office of Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, and then moved to Columbia University in New York as an Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics in the Henry Krumb School of Mines, specializing in metallurgy.  He spent the rest of his career at Columbia, being promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1965 and Full Professor in 1970.  He advised a number of graduate students and was known for his demanding yet rewarding classes.  In 2008 he was awarded the Zener Medal by the International Conference on Internal Friction and Mechanical Spectroscopy (ICIFMS) for “remarkable scientific achievements in the field of anelasticity, mechanical spectroscopy and the study of condensed matter with acoustic methods”.  His final co-authored paper was published when he was 89 years old. While at Illinois he met and married Maxine McArthur, a graduate student in Physiology.  They had four sons:  George McArthur (Cindy Bapties), Samuel Newson (Lynn Wiley), Robert Neil (Manuelle Viederman) and Clifford Monahan; they all survive, along with seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.  After Maxine died in 1999, he married Barbara Algin in 2003 and was welcomed as stepfather to her children Vladimir, Martina and Stephen. In 2018 he and Barbara moved to Urbana IL, where Barbara still lives. Daniel was a long time member of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York, serving on numerous committees and as a Deacon.  He liked to play bridge, work acrostic puzzles and make horrible puns.  He read on a wide range of historical, scientific and religious topics, and loved literature, with Jane Austen being a particular favorite.  In his later years he became fond of the opera and he and Barbara were devotees of the Met. Daniel was a loving husband and father who read to his sons, taught them to play games and how to body surf, and took them to see the dinosaurs.A memorial service will be held on April 13 at 2:00 PM, at the UU Church of Urbana-Champaign.

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