Richard S. Beebe
February, 2011Richard S. Beebe passed away in his sleep January 12, at his home in North Carolina. He was 80.
Dick grew up in the Cincinnati area and graduated from the University Cincinnati with a degree in Municipal Administration. He moved to the Chicago area for his post graduate work in Transportation System Planning at Northwestern University. For nearly five decades, Dick provided parking consulting services to both public and private entities. He was associated with several firms throughout his career including Ralph Burke Associates (1990-1993) and The Consulting Engineers Group, Inc. (1993-2004).
Dick was one of the Founders of the Parking Consultants Council and served as its Chairman from 1978-1979 and 1991-1992. He also served three terms on the Board of Directors of the National Parking Association. He received the Outstanding Service Award for his work with the Board of Directors and was awarded the Bernard Dutch Award by the Parking Consultants Council.
Dick was very knowledgeable about the parking industry, particularly parking revenue control; ADA mandates; and vehicular circulation inside a garage. He was an early advocate of automatic parking and was an original member of the Automatic and Mechanical Parking Association. Many parking publications, such as Parking 101 – A Parking Primer and the Dimensions of Parking have Dick listed as an author and/or editor. While he encouraged the use of advanced parking revenue control equipment, he avoided computers and shunned cell phones. He wrote his reports in longhand. I mean wrote with a pen. They would later be typed. He kept his cell phone in his desk drawer to make sure it never got dusty.
When he read my first draft report as a consultant, he attached a note with the words “NICE JOB!” on it. To me, that note was the equivalent earning a Doctorate degree.
Dick always respected your opinions as long as they agreed with his. It was never necessary for someone to guess if he liked you. You knew! Although he would find fault with some humans, he never found a fault with a dog. Canines were the noblest of species to Dick. Each time he would call my office, he would ask about my dogs.
He enjoyed driving, as long as it was an “American” car. He would not drive a foreign vehicle, even when he traveled on business. Whenever Hertz gave him a car he considered non-American, he would walk, not drive, back to the office and “request” an American vehicle. It was usually a painful decision for someone to deny a “request” from Dick.
On his 71st birthday, September 11, 2001, he was in Hoboken NJ. He witnessed the tragedy taking place directly across the river in Manhattan. A few years later, he retired from consulting, at least on a daily basis. He would still advise on parking, politics, and dogs.
As I reflect upon what Dick Beebe has meant to me and the parking industry, all I can do is mimic the words he once wrote to me: “NICE JOB, DICK”.
He is survived by his son and daughter, Bruce and Cynthia, and his grandchildren. Jennifer, Courtney and Samuel.