Vital Signs » Winter 2018
Col. Kenneth Beers, M.D., passes at 87
Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Kenneth “Ken” Beers, M.D., passed away on
Sept. 20, 2017, in Vandalia, Ohio. A longtime faculty member at the Wright State University School of Medicine, he was 87.
Beers instructed the departments of community health and family practice and was the associate director and training coordinator of the Aerospace Medicine Residency Program. He retired from Wright State University in 1993.
Beers was born in Treichlers, Pennsylvania. In 1952, he graduated from Muhlenberg College of Allentown, Pennsylvania, and would go on to receive his M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1956. Beers earned a Master of Public Health from University of California – Berkeley, in 1963. From 1958-1978, he served with the United States’ 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in the Vietnam War, achieving the rank of colonel in 1971.
For his work with NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center, Beers was awarded the Legion of Merit. He served as a flight surgeon to the Gemini/Titan Program while at NASA, as well as team leader of the Gemini Recovery Medical Team, a surgeon for the Apollo Mission, and in Mission Control for Apollo Missions 8, 9, 10, and 11.
At Beers’ request, his body was donated to the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Anatomical Gift Program for the advancement of medical science. He is survived by his loving wife, Cecil Mae, four children: Kenneth (Gretchen) Beers Jr., Yellow Springs, Ohio, Richard (Debbie) Beers, Dayton, Ohio, Jeffrey Beers, Issaquah, Washington, and Heather (David) Klepitsch, DeKalb, Illinois; stepchildren Sharon Mutter, New York, New York, Dane (Joyce) Mutter Jr., Charlotte, North Carolina, David Mutter, Union, Ohio, Denis (Melissa) Mutter, West Chester, Ohio, as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.
Gregory Boivin, D.V.M., M.B.A., ’14, died on Aug. 11, 2017, at age 55 after a courageous fight with pancreatic cancer.
He passed peacefully and was surrounded by family.
Since 2008, Boivin served as the director of Laboratory Animal Resources and as a professor in the Departments of Pathology and Orthopaedic Surgery at the Boonshoft School of Medicine. He contributed both as an independent scientist and as a collaborator on various projects ranging from orthopaedic research to animal husbandry.
Thanks to advances in disease modeling and genetic engineering, Boivin worked at the forefront of his field developing techniques and methods to understand pathologic changes. He provided pathology support for numerous investigations and was the lead pathologist in studies of various cancers.
Before coming to Wright State University, Boivin worked for nearly two decades as the director of comparative pathology at the University of Cincinnati, where he provided research support to more than 100 investigators and partner institutions. During the same period, he also served as veterinary medical officer at the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Boivin’s groundbreaking career in research began at the University of Washington, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 1984. Five years later, he graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University. He went on to obtain a master’s in laboratory animal medicine from the University of Missouri in 1992 and a Master of Business Administration from Wright State in 2014.
Boivin leaves behind two children, Jordan and Kayla, and his fiancee Pam Williams, who were the loves of his life. Greg and Pam often referred to their family as the Brady Bunch, consisting of Jordan, Kayla, Keaton, Ginny, and Sam. He is survived by his father Dan Boivin and his two loving and supportive sisters, Donna Ditore (Joe) and Diane Donovan and his four favorite nieces and nephews, Michelle Ditore, Anthony Ditore, Megan Ditore and Sean Donovan. He was preceded in death by his mother Linda Boivin in 2011.