Theodore Sterling Beardsley Jr., 82, passed away Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Charlotte Harbor, Fla.
He was born in East St. Louis, Ill.
Ted graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1952, and earned a master’s degree from Washington University in 1954. After service in the U.S. Army and post-graduate work at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1961. Theodore married Lenora Jane Fierke of Herrin, Ill., in 1955, while stationed in Germany. They have been married for 57 years. Theodore taught at Rider College, at Southern Illinois University, at the University of Wisconsin, and at Eckerd College. In 1965, he became the director of the Hispanic Society of America in New York City. Theodore served as director of the Hispanic Society until his retirement in 1995, and was president of the society’s board from 1995. He was a member of the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española and the Real Academia Española. During Theodore’s career, he received numerous awards and honors for his academic work, including a Fulbright Scholarship and the Orden de Merito Civil from Spain. He was known for his intelligence, his generosity, and his sociability. Theodore traveled widely, was multi-lingual, and loved Latin music. His collection of 78 RPM records numbered in the hundreds of thousands, which he donated to form the Beardsley Music Archive at the Hispanic Society of America.
He is survived by his wife and his children, Theodore S. (Angela) Beardsley III of Bakersfield, Calif., Mark A. (Kathleen) Beardsley of Allen, Texas, and Mary Elizabeth Beardsley (Christopher) Land of Abbeville, S.C.; grandchildren, Kristine, Jake, Sean, and Mace of Bakersfield, and Kevin and Amber of Allen.
The family will receive visitors from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at the Kays-Ponger and Uselton Funeral Home located at 2405 Harbor Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL. The burial will occur at 12:30 p.m. at the Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Rd. 72, Sarasota, FL. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be sent to the Beardsley Music Archive at the Hispanic Society of America, 613 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10032.
Arrangements are by Kays-Ponger and Uselton Funeral Homes and Cremation Services.