Albert Beehler Jr., 82, company manager


Albert Beehler Jr., a retired regional manager for a technical instrument company and a world traveler, died of Parkinson's disease Tuesday at Keswick Multi-Care Center. The Poplar Hill resident was 82.

Mr. Beehler was born in Baltimore and raised on Allendale Road in Windsor Hills. He was a great-grandson of Francis Beehler, a woodcarver from Heidelberg, Germany, who established this country's first umbrella factory in 1828 on East Baltimore Street.

Mr. Beehler graduated from Polytechnic Institute in 1939 and earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in 1944.

He enlisted in the Navy and served as skipper of an infantry-landing craft in the Pacific theater.

"His ship weathered typhoons, fought at Okinawa, and cleared mines off Japan postwar," said his son, Alex Beehler of Bethesda. "Using American ingenuity while under fire at Okinawa, he freed his ship from a reef by having the entire crew do jumping-jacks on the fantail."

After leaving the Navy as a lieutenant in 1946, Mr. Beehler worked for Davison Chemical Co. until 1948, when he joined Fischer & Porter, a supplier of chlorination and flowmeter equipment. He retired as its Baltimore regional manager in 1990.

Mr. Beehler loved the sea and traveling by steamship. He completed 11 voyages aboard the SS United States and was a passenger on the three-month 1997 farewell world cruise of Holland-America Line's SS Rotterdam, which was being retired.

"He was so excited during one of our voyages aboard the United States when he was given a tour of the engine room, which was strictly off-limits and secret," said his wife of 57 years, the former Mary Louise Dyer. "In recent years, he enjoyed sailing on the Queen Elizabeth II and Royal Viking."

Mr. Beehler was an avid flower and vegetable gardener and collected antiques.

His memberships included the Maryland Club and St. George's Society.

Mr. Beehler was a member of Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St., where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 19.

Survivors also include a sister, Betty Beehler Hunter of Temple, Texas, and two granddaughters. His daughter, Mary Louise Beehler, died in 1982.

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