Father Richard Beyer
Father Richard Beyer, 69, of Iowa City, passed away suddenly at his home on Dec. 20, 2018, following a brief illness.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Iowa City, where the family will greet friends from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Father Ken Kuntz will officiate. Interment will be at a later date in the Priest's Circle, Mount Calvary, Davenport, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Beyer family to be distributed to charities that were important to Father Beyer.
Father Richard Beyer was born Nov. 13, 1949, in Burlington to Kenneth and Catherine (Moore) Beyer. A native of Burlington, he graduated from Burlington Junior College and received a B.A. in English language and literature from the University of Iowa. He then attended St. Ambrose College in Davenport, where he received a B.A. in philosophy and religion before receiving his M.A. in theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. On June 6, 1981, Father Beyer was ordained at St. John the Baptist Church in Burlington by Bishop Gerald O'Keefe.
Father Beyer served in Davenport as assistant pastor at Holy Family Parish from 1981 to 1984, Sacred Heart Cathedral until 1985 and was chaplain at Mercy Hospital until 1989. He became pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Hills, providing pastoral care for St. Mary's Catholic Church in Lone Tree and Nichols until 1990. He then served as temporary administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Fort Madison in 1990, returning to Sacred Heart Cathedral before taking a leave of absence in 1991 to complete research for a book he was writing.
Father Beyer, a talented writer, published his first book, "Medjugorje Day by Day," in 1993, becoming clinical chaplain of Veterans Administration Hospital in Waco, Texas, in the same year. In March of 1996, he published his second book, "Blessed Art Thou," and in 2010, Father Beyer published his third and final book, "The Catholic Heart: Day by Day."
After working at the Veterans Administration Hospital for more than 17 years, specializing in PTSD, addiction treatment, ICU, mental health, blind rehab, hospice and senior care, Father Beyer moved closer to family in 2011. While living in Iowa City, he served as part-time parochial vicar at St. Mary's and priest campus minister at the Newman Catholic Student Center. He most recently was employed at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City as clinical chaplain.
Father Beyer loved all animals, especially his beloved dog, Mira. He enjoyed working on his home, gardening and landscaping. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, which brought out his infectious laugh.
He left a mark on many people of all different ages with his warm and generous heart. He would do anything for anyone, especially family, whom he loved deeply. He cared so much for others that sometimes he would forget to care for himself. He left so many great memories for family and friends to share and will be missed by many.
Father Richard Beyer is survived by his sisters, Patricia (Martin) Brophy of Riverside, Iowa, and Margaret (Richard) Friedman of Fort Worth, Texas; two brothers, Steven (Donna) Beyer of Burlington, Iowa, and John (Andra) Beyer of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Online condolences may be sent to www.lensingfuneral.com.