Kenneth "Ken" Beers, MD, Colonel, USAF ret., age 87, died September 20, 2017, in Vandalia, Ohio.
Ken was born in Treichlers, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Muhlenberg College of Allentown, PA, in 1952, received his MD from Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, in 1956, and received a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963.
Ken served in the USAF from 1958-1978, achieving the rank of Colonel in 1971. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving with the famed 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, "Wolfpack". He received the Legion of Merit, the USAF's second highest award of achievement for his work with the NASA, Manned Spacecraft Center. During his time at NASA, Ken served as Flight Surgeon to the Gemini/Titan Program,; team leader of the Gemini Recovery Medical Team; and Apollo Mission Surgeon, Mission Control for Apollo 8, 9, 10, and 11.
After retiring from the USAF, Ken joined the faculty at the Wright State University School of Medicine, where he instructed in the departments of Community Health and Family Practice and was the Associate Director and Training Coordinator of the Aerospace Medicine Residency Program, from which he retired in 1993.
Ken was an avid movie-goer, and lifelong music lover. He had a special affinity for swing music of the 1930's and 40's. He was a self-taught musician and played trombone, saxophone, sousaphone, guitar, mandolin and ukulele. Ken performed in various bands in high school and college, and was part of a band that performed at the Presidential Inauguration ceremony of Henry S. Truman. Ken continued to enjoy music until his death.
Dr. Beers is survived by his loving wife Cecil Mae, four children: Kenneth (Gretchen) Beers Jr., Yellow Springs, OH, Richard (Debbie) Beers, Dayton, OH, Jeffrey Beers, Issaquah, WA, and Heather (David) Klepitsch, DeKalb, IL; stepchildren Sharon Mutter, New York, NY, Dane (Joyce) Mutter, Jr. , Charlotte, NC, David Mutter, Union, OH, Denis (Melissa) Mutter, West Chester, OH, as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter