Theodore Fairbank Beals, MS, MD of Waterloo Township, Michigan, Age 87, died Thursday, August 19, 2021 at his home with family at his side. He was born May 29, 1934, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Albert Tyler and Dorothy Alice (Van Zwaluwenburg) Beals. Ted graduated from Rosemead High School in Rosemead, CA, in 1952 and received his BS (1956), MS (1957), and MD (1966) from the University of Michigan. He specialized in pathology, virology, and electron microscopy. On June 13, 1955, Ted married Margaret (Peggy) Catherine Dillinger in the Douglas Memorial Chapel in Ann Arbor, and she survives. He is also survived by his children, Sandra Beals of Webster Township, MI, James Beals (Kelli Sullivan) of Ann Arbor, MI, Lynn Beals-Becker of Webster Township, MI, and John Beals of Ann Arbor, MI; his grandchildren, Andrea (Moreno-Beals) (Yoni) Paz, Brian Moreno, Michael Moreno, William Becker, Josh (Miranda) McVety; and his siblings, Katherine (Beals) Brenner and Eric (Kathleen) Beals, as well as many nieces and nephews.
After completing his studies and training, Dr. Beals stayed on at the University of Michigan Medical School as faculty until his retirement. He joined the Department of Pathology at the VA Medical Center in Ann Arbor in 1971 and was promoted to Chief of Pathology in 1989, a position he held until his retirement in 2001. In addition, he took on the posts of Director of Pathology and Chief Consultant, Diagnostic Services, in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Administration in Washington, DC. His areas of research included inflammatory processes, pulmonary pathology, and laboratory proficiency testing and quality management, among others. He was instrumental in the adoption of electronic microscopy imaging for telemedicine in the VA system. He also served as a Deputy Medical Examiner in Washtenaw County from 1974 to 1996. Ted’s commitment to civil rights, racial and gender equality, and fairness and integrity in elections began in his undergraduate years and manifested in many types of public service. As president of the student religious association, he joined and traveled to Washington DC with the NAACP. Other public service activities included leadership in the local Democratic Party; participation in the ad hoc committee, Model Cities; and serving as chair of the Ann Arbor Board of Canvassers. Later in his life, he continued his public service as chair of the Waterloo Township Planning Commission and as a member of the Waterloo Township Land Division Review Committee. He was instrumental in developing the Sand and Gravel Extraction Ordinance for Waterloo Township. As Dr. Beals completed his work with the township, they honored him for his significant contributions over the years with the planting of a flowering tree near the town hall and a commemorative plaque.
After retirement from his medical career, Ted brought together his academic and research training, dedication to scientific integrity, and specific knowledge of microbiology, testing, and cellular aspects of disease to bear on common misconceptions about unpasteurized milk. He was a lifelong advocate for organic principles, sustainable and local agriculture, and the nutritional and medical values of nutrient-dense foods. Ted was active in promoting the rights of farmers to provide, and consumers to obtain, milk and other locally-produced fresh unprocessed foods. He served internationally as a lecturer and consultant on dairy safety and fresh milk quality and as an expert witness in multiple court cases in the USA and Canada. With Peggy, he served on many committees, gave workshops, and wrote many publications on these topics. Ted was respected by those he worked with, including those who did not agree with him.
Ted and Peggy were passionate about dancing together! They met at a square dance, and that shared interest was a continuous theme throughout their 66-year marriage. They danced several times a week for nearly 50 years, from 1972 until March of 2020, taking private lessons and participating in many square and ballroom dance clubs.
A Celebration of Ted’s Life will be announced at a later date.
Direct cremation arrangements were entrusted to Cole Funeral Chapel in Chelsea. Cremains will be interred privately at Forest Hills Cemetery in Ann Arbor.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the ACLU, Doctors without Borders, or the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation.
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