In Memoriam


In Memoriam

From:        Daniel Beckhard
Sent:         Friday, May 29, 2009 6:04 PM
Subject:   Sad News about Robert Beckhard

Hello, this is Daniel Beckhard, Bob's nephew. Bob passed away peacefully last night at Beth Israel Hospital, from complications arising from his Parkinsons Disease. I have been helping his wife Pat with various matters. I am including you in this e-mail because your address appears in Bob's e-mail contact list. If you were erroneously included, please accept my apology.

Pat is planning some kind of memorial gathering in the next few weeks, but the details have not been set yet. If you would like to be included in this event, please e-mail me at If you would like to be involved with the planning or assist in the event, please let me know.

Also, I have been writing a brief obituary for Bob that I will submit to the New York Times and the Putnam County News in the next few days. I am including a draft below, but want to invite his friends to submit any other bits of information about him that you think should be included. Please use the e-mail address above. I will not be able to access e-mails to Bob after today. Thank you in advance for your kind thoughts.

BECKHARD - Robert L., age 91, died May 28, 2009 in New York, New York. Beloved husband to Patricia Knight Beckhard, brother-in-law to Susan Knight Cecil and Sally Knight Rabilloud, and uncle to Elizabeth Waller, Daniel Beckhard, and Ruth Werner.

Born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, he was a passionate musician and student of English music from the early 20th century. He studied at the Boston University College of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, and Harvard University. During the late 1940s he was an editor of music and text material at G. Schirmer Inc., working with such composers as Kurt Weill, Percy Grainger, and William Schuman. Bob composed over 200 original published choral and piano works, and his works have been performed by numerous professional and school choruses.

He contributed an essay to the book "Peter Warlock, A Centenary Celebration," published in 1994. In later years he devoted himself to research for a book about the life and music of John Goss. Bob was also an accomplished professional photographer, whose photographs have been publicly exhibited in New York and Putnam County, New York, and published in books and magazines. He taught photography at the Garrison, N.Y. Art Center.

He and Pat loved their cottage near the Hudson in Garrison, where Bob spent countless happy hours tending his vegetable garden. He will be greatly missed by his family and his wide circle of friends.


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