In memoriam: Dr. Richard Beidleman, prominent area naturalistRichard "Dick" Gooch Beidleman, 91, a long-time Colorado College science professor and open-space supporter, died Aug. 7 in Pacific Grove, California.
The Beidleman Center in Sondermann Park was named after him in 1987. For about 15 years, it was a City Parks environmental center, similar to the Bear Nature Center. For the past 10 years, it has been used as the headquarters of the Catamount Institute environmental organization.
Dr. Beidleman also was a leader in the 1960s effort by the citizens' group, Springs Area Beautiful (SPABA), that prevented Rock Ledge Ranch from being subdivided as part of Pleasant Valley. The ranch area, which became part of the Garden of the Gods, is now a city-owned living history site.
Books he wrote include "California's Frontier Naturalists" and "Plants of Rocky Mountain National Park," which was co-authored with his wife Linda.
Dr. Beidleman was born June 3, 1923, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the only child of Fred and Olive Beidleman.
He served in the U.S. Navy as a gunnery officer in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
Teaching at Colorado College from 1957 to 1988, Dr. Beidleman became a full professor of biology, retiring as a professor emeritus.
He moved to California in about 1989, but would return to to Colorado every summer to teach field courses about Rocky Mountain plants and birds.
A "Celebration of Life" ceremony will be held in his memory Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. at Shove Chapel at Colorado College.