NORMAN — Leonard Beevers, 79, of Norman, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at Brookhaven Extended Care in Norman. He was born Aug. 7, 1934, in Weardale, Durham, England to Norman and Olive (Ayre) Beevers.
Leonard was awarded a Bachelor of Science 1st Class Honors degree in agriculture from King’s College, University of Durham, Durham, England in 1958 and awarded his Ph.D. degree in agricultural botany from the University of Wales in 1961. He was a post-doctoral research associate in the Agronomy Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana from 1961 to 1964. Leonard was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Illinois in 1963 and then associate professor in 1968. In 1971, Leonard joined the Department of Botany and Microbiology as a full professor. He was named a George Lynn Cross Research Professor in 1980 and became chairman of the Department of Botany and Microbiology (1981-2000). He retired from the University of Oklahoma in May of 2001.
He mentored numerous graduate students and post-doctoral research associates, published multiple papers in professional journals and authored a book to further the research in his field. He served on editorial boards and was a panel member for the National Science Foundation. Leonard was listed in American Men and Women in Science. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After retiring from OU in 2000, he volunteered at the Sam Noble Natural Historical Museum.
Leonard married Patricia Owen on Aug. 27, 1960, in Aberystwyth, Wales and they raised two sons, Kevin and Richard. He enjoyed gardening and watching his granddaughters playing soccer. Leonard will be remembered by his family for his dry sense of humor and as a caring and loving husband, father and grandfather.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Harry and Arthur Beevers; and a sister, Winifred Allinson.
Leonard is survived by his wife of 53 years, Patricia; his two sons, Richard Norman Beevers and wife Paige Mayhew and Kevin John Beevers and wife Shannon Beevers; his three granddaughters, Delanie Mayhew Beevers, Isabella Grace Beevers and Addison Riley Beevers; his brother, Alec Beevers of England; and his three sisters, Edna Emerson, Elsie Chapman and Vera West of England.