Bud Beyer

October 8, 2018

“With Bud as our compass, we know our path.” -  Gro Sandvik, musician & dear friend


Bud Beyer is the man I deeply loved for 45 years.  Born in Chicago on January 29, 1940, he passed away on October 8, 2018.  He is a Professor Emeritus of Northwestern University’s School of Communication, serving in the Theatre Department as Head of Acting and Chair and as Director of the Northwestern Mime Company during his 34 years of teaching.  He has worked with musicians and orchestras for over 35 years, focused on emotional connection with musicians in relation to their work, to themselves, to each other, to their composers, and always, to their audiences.  Using the art of music as its platform, his book, Completing the Circle, was written to share these ideas about the performing arts and as an inspiration to all artists seeking to complete the great circle of communication that ebbs and flows in concert halls and theatres, and indeed, in any empty space.


He loved life, he loved the human spirit, and he was honored and humbled by those who shared his voice into their life-work, both in theatre and in music.  As Verne, of mime and theatre, said of Bud, "Paths leading to paths. Life intensely lived and calling for others to live their lives as intensely and fully."  He loved being Godfather to dearest Rose Beth, and he loved the role of Grandpa Bud for little Carson & Drew.  Named River Wind by one of his Norwegian soul mates, Hilde, we most gratefully thank all his beloved musician-friends, who truly gave him some of the best years of our lives.  We also thank his doctors, led by Dr. Magrisso, who encircled Bud with support and care through the years.


Bud’s love of the arts was equaled only by his love for the wilderness of the Superior National Forest. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center on Saganaga Lake, celebrating the area’s cultural and natural history. Beautifully, Bud’s voice can be heard as the narrator of Gunflint Trail Pioneers, one of the exhibits at the Chik Wauk Museum (28 Moose Pond Drive; Grand Marais, MN  55604;  218-388-9915). 


I leave you with a quote by Robert Edmond Jones, the words Bud would speak at the close of every presentation and performance.  For Bud, these words held the essence of life. 


“I think of a tale by Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men.  It begins in the manner of the science fiction romances one reads in Astounding Stories, but then it grows and grows and it ends in speculations almost too vast to comprehend.  Mr. Stapledon traces the progress of mankind through eons of triumph and despair.  At last, untold billions of years hence, when the universe is darkening down to its final end; a great teacher sums up the meaning of human life.  ‘It was like a melody,’ he says. 


That is our story.  We are here for a little while between mystery and mystery.  We live for a little time on this earth that is so fair.  Could we, here, protean as we are; could we sense for a brief moment the melody of our being?  And having sensed it could we impart it to our fellow men?  Follow this dream into the light.  The road is long but the rewards at the end are greater than you know.  Take with you as you go the words of Plato:


‘For those who have once set foot upon the upward pilgrimage do not go down again to darkness and to journey beneath the earth, but they live in light, always.’”


Godspeed to you all,

Patti Beyer

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