Robert Lewis Beamer ’54

Dr. Robert Lewis Beamer, 89, of Columbia, passed away on Monday, November 28, 2022. He was born on June 9, 1933, in Pulaski, Virginia, to Harold Lee Beamer, Sr. and Mary Overton Smith Beamer.

Dr. Beamer became an Eagle Scout at the age of 16 and graduated from Pulaski High School in 1950. He entered Davidson College in September of 1950, majoring in Chemistry and Biology. After two years, he transferred to the School of Pharmacy at the Medical College of Virginia, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy in 1955 and became a Licensed Registered Pharmacist. He then entered the Graduate School at the Medical College of Virginia and earned a Master’s Degree in 1957, majoring in Chemistry. He obtained his PhD there in 1959, majoring in Organic Pharmaceutical Chemistry and minoring in Biochemistry and Physical Chemistry. His dissertation was on Asymmetric Hydrogenation Using Palladium Catalysts.

Dr. Beamer joined the faculty of the College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina in 1959. He became a full professor in 1967. He officially retired in 1998 as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus, after publishing more than 30 papers and a book. He continued to teach and research until he fully retired in 2006.

He was a dedicated member of Washington Street United Methodist Church, where he served as a Sunday school teacher, church historian, chairman of the administrative board and church council. He was a member of several professional organizations including the American Chemical Society and the American Pharmaceutical Association. He was active in many social and civic organizations, including Meals on Wheels, the Columbia Torch Club and the Columbia Capital Rotary Club.

Dr. Beamer was preceded in death by his loving wife of 63 years, Joan Fanning Beamer; his parents; sister, Elizabeth Beamer; and brother, Harold Beamer Jr. (Mary Frances). He is survived by his daughter, Janelle Elizabeth Beamer. He is also survived by nephews, Danny Fanning (Rhonda), Mark Beamer (Tracy), Hal Beamer (Kerri), Benjamin Beamer, and a host of loving cousins.

A graveside service for Dr. Beamer will be held at 11 o’clock on Saturday, December 3rd at Elmwood Cemetery, 501 Elmwood Avenue, Columbia, SC. The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 o’clock on Friday, December 2nd at Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, 7600 Trenholm Road Ext., Columbia, SC. Memorials can be made to Washington Street United Methodist Church. Memories and condolences may be shared at