Wednesday, February 14, 2001
home page local news opinion business island life sports
AP National & International News
Traffic Hotspots
School Calendar
E-The People
Email Lawmakers
Classified Ads
Restaurant Guide
Business Directory

Posted on: Wednesday, February 14, 2001

John 'Jack' Beardsley Jr., Isle expert on insects, dead at 74

By Yasmin Anwar
Advertiser Staff Writer

John "Jack" Beardsley Jr., an internationally distinguished expert on insects and pest control, died Feb. 5 in Honolulu while working at the Bishop Museum on an assessment for the Maui Airport extension. He was 74.

John "Jack" Beardsley Jr. was an entomologist at UH and the Bishop Museum.
A native of Berkeley, Calif., Beardsley began his work in Hawai
i with the oriental fruit fly program in the 1950s, and went on to become an authority on mealybugs, wasps and other hymenoptera, a class that includes bees, ants and other insects with thin waists and stingers.

During his prolific career, he contributed to more than 500 published scientific notes on new immigrant species. He also conducted research on agricultural pests in Australia, England, Zaire, Nigeria, Central Africa, Senegal, Bangladesh and Thailand.

"He was the best," said Dick Tsuda, a University of Hawaii-Manoa insect identity specialist who worked with Beardsley. "If he didn’t recognize the insect, then it was probably something new to the state."

While pursuing his graduate degrees, Beardsley was an entomologist in Micronesia and for the Hawaii Sugar Planters Association.

Beardsley joined the University of Hawaii Entomology Department in 1963 and went on to serve as the department’s chairman in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources from 1981 to 1991.

He was a research fellow at the Bishop Museum, and was working with museum entomologists on two biological survey projects at the time of his death. He also was studying the risk of more insects entering Maui with an increase in direct flights to the island.

"He was remarkable," said Lyle Wong, head of the plant industry division of the state Department of Agriculture. "As for the work we’re doing on Maui, it’s going to be more difficult without his help."

Wong says that just before his death, Beardsley had "the most fantastic meeting" with his colleagues at the Bishop Museum, and that his wife noted that "he died doing exactly what he loved to do, at a place that he loved."

Besides his wife, Peggy, Beardsley is survived by children, Steven, Laurel Breault, John and Claire Leary; sister, Nancy Burke; and brother, Edward. A service will be held Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Atherton Halau at the Bishop Museum.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the John W. Beardsley Fund through the University of Hawaii Foundation and the Bishop Museum to further advance the field of entomology.

[back to top]

Home | Local News | Opinion | Business | Island Life | Sports
Weather | Traffic Hotspots | Obituaries | School Calendar | Email Lawmakers
How to Subscribe | How to Advertise | Site Map | Terms of Service | Corrections

© COPYRIGHT 2001 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.