Keightley & Ashner LLP is mourning the loss of William G. Beyer, Jr. The firm is forever indebted to Bill for his role in its establishment and for his many contributions to its success. He will be sorely missed.
Bill was born in Chicago, Illinois, in September 1945 to William and Lucille Beyer, and passed away on August 7, 2018. Bill is survived by his wife, Emily Beyer of Falls Church, Virginia; his daughter, Colleen Beyer of Falls Church, Virginia; his son, William Beyer of Falls Church, Virginia; and his daughter, Heidi Beyer of Springfield, Virginia. Survivors also include his sisters, Peg (Allen) Pepping of Nashotah, Wisconsin, and Maggy (John) Hoefferle of Western Springs, Illinois; his brother, John (Marie) Beyer of Palatine, Illinois; his uncle, Bill (Loretta) Nicholson, of Orland Park, Illinois; and several nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Bill retired from government practice with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, along with Jim Keightley and Harold Ashner, to establish the firm in January of 2005. Throughout his tenure with PBGC from 1976 to 2004—including his service as Deputy General Counsel from 1991 to 2004—Bill played a major role in virtually all PBGC legislative, regulatory, and litigation matters. As PBGC's leading bankruptcy expert, Bill supervised the agency's legal teams in some of the nation's largest bankruptcy cases, including LTV, Bethlehem Steel, and US Airways. He testified on pension and PBGC issues before the National Bankruptcy Review Commission in connection with the development of bankruptcy reform proposals.
In 1992, Bill received PBGC's highest honorary award, the Distinguished Career Service Award. In 2004, President Bush honored Bill with the Distinguished Senior Professional Presidential Rank Award, the nation's highest honor for service as a career federal executive, to recognize his central role in PBGC's success in landmark cases, his outstanding leadership, and his role as a nationally recognized expert on ERISA and the Bankruptcy Code. Bill was a frequent speaker on a wide variety of PBGC matters at professional conferences, including those sponsored by the American Bar Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute. He also authored or co-authored many monographs and articles, including (as co-author and co-editor) the ABI's Pension Manual: A Practical Guide to Pension Issues Arising in Business Bankruptcy Cases. For over a decade, he taught an ERISA course in the LL.M. and Certificate in Employee Benefits program as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.
Bill was a Charter Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. He had a J.D. and a Master of Laws in Taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center, and a B.S. in Business Administration (with highest distinction) from George Mason University. Bill was a member of the American Bar Association (Sections of Taxation and Business Law), the Federal Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the bars of the District of Columbia and of Virginia.
Before embarking on his career as a highly-regarded attorney, starting in high school and continuing through his graduation from law school, Bill worked as a computer and systems programmer for Johnson & Johnson, then served in the United States Army at the Pentagon as a computer and systems programmer, and thereafter performed computer and systems programming work for IBM and the Federal Power Commission.
Throughout his life, Bill cherished the time he spent with his beloved family. He had a wide variety of interests, including music, reading, politics, sports, history, classic movies, people, and humor. Bill was a Harley Davidson, classic cars, and Mustang enthusiast, participating in two Mustang clubs. He enjoyed amateur radio, including in particular his time volunteering as an amateur radio operator with Fairfax Office of Emergency Management and with Arlington Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. His active memberships included the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Knights of Columbus.
Donations in memory of Bill may be sent to an organization of your choice, or to:
Cancer Research Institute
29 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10006-3111
Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
200 South Park Road, Suite 100
Hollywood, FL 33021
Condolences to the family may be sent to:
Family of Bill Beyer
c/o Emily Beyer
2603 Midway Street
Falls Church, Virginia 22046-1928
A memorial service for Bill will be held at 12:30 PM on September 22, 2018, at St. Luke Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101