Dr. William Beetham Jr.
Born on May 9, 1929, in Boston, Mass., Dr. William Parkes Beetham Jr. was the son of Dr. William P. Beetham and Mildred Metcalf. He grew up in Waban, Mass., and attended the Rivers School.
Bill earned his BA from Ohio Wesleyan in 1951. In 1955, Bill graduated with an
MD from University of
Rochester and married Susanna D. Allen of Boston, Mass.
Bill served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for two years.
From 1962 to 1965, Bill was an assistant professor of Medicine at University of Alabama.
In 1965, Bill joined the staff at the Lahey Clinic and New England Deaconess Hospital where he practiced Rheumatology until his retirement in 1994. During that time, he was an associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He served as president of the New England Rheumatism Association and Chief of Rheumatology at New England Deaconess.
Bill wrote more than 60 articles and books. He co-authored the widely accepted textbook, Physical Examination of the Joints, and, in his retirement, created Finding Hope and Compassion, a book of inspiration for doctors, nurses, and other caregivers coping with illness, disability, or suffering.
Bill was a true humanitarian and an avid nature lover. His many passions included photography, fishing, and making others smile. His kindness and compassion touched everyone around him.
Bill is survived by his wife, Susanna Beetham; his three daughters, Laurel Harrison of Ellicott City, Md., Bonnie Lang of Northboro, Mass., and Carolyn Charron of Watertown, Mass.; and a son, Tom Beetham of Andover, Mass. Bill also leaves two sisters, Mary Ella Kelly of Falmouth, Mass., and Nancy Aiello of Cambridge, Mass. In addition, he leaves seven grandsons and one granddaughter.
There will be a Memorial Service at First United Methodist Church, 18 Wesley Way, Gilford, on Saturday, June 16, at 2 p.m.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.