Obituary: George B. Beitzel
George B. Beitzel, known as Spike, a resident of Meadow Ridge in Redding, CT, passed away on June 26, 2018, in the company of his dear wife and family. Spike was born in Springfield, PA on April 25, 1928 to George B. Beitzel and Mary B. Beitzel.
Spike proudly served his country as an officer in the US Navy. He then had a 32-year career in senior management positions with IBM, including two years as executive assistant to company chairman Thomas Watson.
He retired from the company in 1987 as senior vice president, a member of the corporate office, and a member of the board of directors. During the course of his business career, Mr. Beitzel offered his management experience and strategic counsel as a member of the board of numerous corporations, including Bankers Trust, Caliber System, Inc., FlightSafety, Phillips Petroleum, Roadway Express, and Deutsche Bank Corporation.
Spike’s life was defined by interests and passions that went beyond corporate leadership. In particular, he was devoted to the pursuit of education and knowledge. He served twenty-one years as a trustee, including six as chairman of his alma mater, Amherst College, from which he received an honorary doctor of law degree and the title of chairman emeritus; twelve years on the board of directors of the Associates at Harvard Business School which presented him its Alumni Achievement Award; fifteen years as a trustee, including four as chairman, of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; an elected member of the American Philosophical Society; a trustee of the Joint Council on Economic Education; a trustee of the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships; a member of the National Advisory Council of the Boy Scouts of America; a trustee of Northern Westchester Hospital; and a member of the board of the Danforth Fellows.
Although devoted to leading business, educational, and charitable organizations, no role defined Spike more than husband to wife Mary Lou, a graduate and trustee emeritus of the University of the Arts and a professional watercolor artist; father to sons Skip and David and daughter Tish; grandfather to six grandchildren; and brother to Nancy Hall of Lancaster, PA. Spike enjoyed being a private pilot for more than 50 years for both business and pleasure, and shared his infectious laugh and can-do spirit with friends and colleagues around the world. He was an exceptional athlete with lifelong passions for skiing, surfing, and tennis.
Spike’s life was defined by participation, leadership and service — in the words of his Amherst alma mater, a life of consequence.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at 12:00 Noon at the First Congregational Church, 103 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made either to the American Philosophical Society, 104 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106; or the EAA Young Eagles, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903. The Young Eagles program is part of the Experimental Aircraft Association that provides interested young people an opportunity to learn to fly. Please indicate as a memorial gift for Spike Beitzel.