Obituary: Dr. James P. Beasom III

Longtime Claremont resident, former chief of surgery at PVHMC was 99

Well known orthopedic surgeon Dr. James P. Beasom III died at age 99 on November 13 with his family by his side, 46 days shy of his 100th birthday. He and his identical twin brother, Dr. Ralph D. Beasom, were born in Seattle, Washington to the Rev. James P. Beasom Jr. and Helga Kirkrod Beasom.

His family moved from Seattle to Glendale, California when the boys were five years old. Jim graduated from Glendale High School and attended Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska. There he met Tracy, who quickly became his college sweetheart. They married in 1946 while he continued his studies at Creighton University’s School of Medicine. After receiving his medical degree, he served in the Korean War, acting as chief of orthopedic service and as orthopedic consultant and instructor at the 25th Station Hospital. For his service he was awarded two Bronze Stars: a United Nations Service Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.

Returning to California in 1955 the couple settled in Claremont, where they raised three boisterous boys. He enjoyed spending time with his family sailing, skiing, camping, and the triennial family reunion in the Ozarks. As one of the earliest members of the newly formed Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, the Beasoms established lifelong bonds with other families and members, who played an integral role in their spiritual and social life. He served on many committees and was president of the church council for six years. He also participated in church work parties, where he enjoyed gardening, cleanup, and property maintenance.

In Claremont, he started his orthopedic practice and served as the medical director of the Muscular Dystrophy Society for 15 years. His later practice focused on joint replacement, a field in which he was recognized as a pioneer.

He served the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (formerly Pomona Valley Community Hospital) as chief of surgery, chief of the medical staff, and served on the hospital board of directors. His years of medical practice also included work at San Antonio Hospital and Casa Colina. With his devotion and attention to detail, he changed countless patients’ lives by increasing their mobility and quality of life.

Always encouraging his patients and friends to “keep moving,” he practiced his own advice by carrying his golf clubs on his back and walking the course until age 95. After retiring at age 75, he was one of the seven founders of the Claremont Senior Bike Group, which has grown to more than 150 members today. In addition to actively promoting a bike-friendly city, the group provides many services to the community. At age 60 he and his wife started bike touring, and together bicycled much of Europe and the USA. He continued to be an avid cyclist and his last ride was only 10 days before his death.

He was preceded in death by his wife Tracy; son Bruce; and his identical twin brother, Ralph.

He is survived by his two sons and daughters-in-law, Mark and Samela Beasom of La Cañada, California, and Paul and Susan Beasom of Park City, Utah; as well as two granddaughters, Andrea Lindgren and Deanna Reeves, and numerous nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed by all.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, December 2 at Good Shepherd Lutheran,1700 N. Towne Ave., Claremont.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who are able instead make a donation to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center at pvhmc.org/giving-support,  or Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at egoodshepherd.org/donations.

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