(I received this obituary in my morning mail from Dana Dean, E.F. Beall’s daughter. She said that she will be in DeeCee again in March, and asks that you contact her for further information.)
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Edgar F. Beall
At sixty (days) after the sun’s turnings [i.e. the solstice], when
Zeus finishes up winter days, well right then the star
Arcturus, abandoning the lively stream of Oceanus,
rises at twilight and first shines;
and after him the rightly-wailing [or: wailing before-dawn]
daughter of Pandion, the swallow, rises
to light for humans, just at the onset of spring.
Prune your vines ahead of her, for this is better.
~ Hesiod, Works and Days 564-570 (as interpreted by E.F. Beall)
Edgar F. Beall, also known as E.F. Beall, died on January 21, 2014 of natural causes. He was born in Colton, California on January 2, 1934 (or as he liked to say, 1, 2, 3, 4.) He spent much of his childhood in Quincy, California before attending the University of California at Berkeley.
After earning a Ph.D. in Physics at Cal, he taught for several years at the University of Maryland. He soon became a leader in the anti-war movement there, developing what would become a life-long devotion to challenging authority. His passion for defense of the common man in the face of authority was evident even to his last months, as he devoted precious time to his blog on firedoglake.com, where he met true friends who respected his opinions and beliefs and shared his passion.
Ed was known by all as a brilliant man. He published works on particle Physics throughout the 1960’s. Eventually rejecting that field, he moved to Washington D.C. and took up the history of science and ultimately his true love, Philology and the study of ancient works. Dr. Beall published dozens of writings in this area with a particular emphasis on Hesiod’s Works and Days. He was a member of the American Philological Association, the Classical Association of the Atlantic States, and the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. He contributed to many of his colleagues’ publications through peer review and editing. He also mentored young academics, taking particular joy in challenging their assumptions and helping them to a greater understanding of the subject matter.
E.F. Beall was a poet. Along with his work on Classical Philology, many of his poems and other writings can be viewed on his website at efbeall.net. He also loved classical music and in his later years volunteered with the Friday Morning Club, which regularly produces concerts in the DC area.
Dr. Beall is survived by his daughter, Dana Dean, his son, Brian (Lisa) Beall; his beloved granddaughters, Madolyn Dean and April Beall; siblings, David (Joan) Beall and Nancy Reyes and nephews, Christopher (Jean) Beall, Mike (Anita) Beall, Matthew (Yelena) Beall and their children.
A memorial for Dr. Beall will be held on March 1st 2014 at the Brookview Park Community Clubhouse, 1201 Monument Blvd., Concord, California 94520. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to the Friday Morning Music Club at 801 K Street NW, Washington DC 20001 or MHz Networks (MHznetworks.org.) Correspondence can be sent in care of the Law Offices of Dana Dean, 283 East H Street, Benicia, California 94510 or to firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian@BeallComputer.com. The family would like to express thanks to the staff at George Washington University Hospital, the staff at the View apartments, and all who expressed kind thoughts at firedoglake.com and through the philology associations.
What a perfect poem Dana chose to accompany her father’s obituary, and so timely, as the same star Hesiod greeted as the first harbinger of spring with such warmth, is indeed rising now. In the Four Corners, it peeks above the La Plata peaks at about 10:30 p.m. in the east by northeast sky. You can find Arcturus here so that you might watch … as it slides off the lively stream of Oceanus and gallivants with Mars and Spicus.
I do wish that E.F. might have lived to see that there is now a ‘Change the damned name!’ hashtag, and that it’s very busy with comments and twitter pic examples related to #notyourmascot. Damn, he would have loved it! I’ll say thank you to Elliott for posting about it all, as would he have. And just because I still can’t help myself, E. F., I’ll say that it’s all about renaming the Washington Redskins (without the asterisk), a great passion of his.
E.F.’s body of work can be found here, including his last message to his friends announcing his impending ‘medical event.’ My original post announcing his death is here; Dana explains the sequence of events that led to it.
In closing, I’d like to add this favorite piece of his that he brought us on a thread once. When I marveled at the opening first clarinet’s rocking performance, he told me that it was known as a glissando. And as for ‘the daughter of Pandion, the Swallow’ being simply a metaphor for spring or not (surely you had an opinion), we know that you are out there with the Swallows, winging wherever you may choose to travel.