Richard "Dick" Beyrer '69

Recipient of the 2019 Brother Patrick B. Doyle Award
for Distinguished Service to the Alumni Association

Dick Beyrer was a member of Queen of Angels Parish in Sunnyside. Cathy Grogan is from St. Teresa’s Parish in Woodside. Only Queens Boulevard separated them. They went to the same grammar school for four years and never met. They did meet in 1963 in Rockaway, but there were no waves that day.

On May 10, 1968, in their junior year at Iona, they started dating, and so it continued. With college graduation in 1969 came the reality of Vietnam. Dick joined the National Guard through the 69th Regiment, "The Fighting Irish", and his next stop was Fort Polk, Louisiana. Six weeks of training at the NYS Correctional Facility in Coxsackie started the next 13 years as a state parole officer. Case work developed into investigations. For Dick, each day presented exciting challenges and opportunities throughout the state and beyond.

Dick reconnected with Iona when the Alumni Association and the business school began presenting a series of lectures, articles, and forums on the “hows” and “whys” of successful career changes.

After a year of negotiations, State Farm Insurance challenged Dick to move to Putnam County and start an agency in Mahopac. A career change and a relocation with a wife and four young boys can be uncomfortable. The plan, developed with the help at Iona, made this transition exciting and successful. There was never a doubt about the possibilities. The agency opportunity allowed Dick to give back to Iona by serving on the Alumni Board, the CARE committee and recruiting several students. He was also able to give back to Mahopac by serving as the chairman of the Putnam County Parole Board for 18 years and trustee of St. John the Evangelist Church for six years. After 33 years of mutual respect, Dick had his most successful negotiation with State Farm: the company allowed his son Tim '97, to migrate his own agency into Mahopac.

And Tim's mom, the former Cathy Grogan, is still happy.

Dick has started his recruitment activity with several amazing prospects - his grandchildren: Gabriela '28, Dan '32, Maeve '36, Mairead '37, Colin '38, and Grace '41. Go Gaels!