He was known as the tall guy with the hat. He was known for being so engrossed in his paperwork that his wife Nora demanded that he cross the street with the ducks because it was the only way she could be certain that he wouldn’t get run over. He was known to his children, Nancy and Lee, and his stepchildren, Kathy and Craig, as Gator Man for his ability to swim and canoe fearlessly in Florida’s rivers with alligators. He was to known to friends as the kind of man who liked Snickers Bars and French champagne equally. Mostly, though, he was known as Beau—a true Virginian gentleman with a great mind and a big heart.
Beau was born in Manila, Philippines to his father Woodson Woods Bercaw and his mother Nancy Scott Bercaw. He was their fourth son, joining Woodson Jr., David, and Peter. Once they returned to the U.S., Beau’s young life was spent running in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and swimming in the Rivanna River on the Bercaw family farm in Palmyra, Virginia. After graduating from the University of Virginia’s College of Medicine, he joined the Air Force and went back to his birthplace in the Philippines to serve as a surgeon at Clark Air Base during the Vietnam War.
Beau did his residency in neurology at the University of Florida, and then went on to practice in Huntsville, Alabama and Clearwater, Florida. He also taught at the University of South Florida for several years before moving to Naples, where he practiced his own brand of neurology until retiring in 1999. Afterwards, Beau continued his scholarly pursuits, traveled to far-flung places, and delighted in the company of his grandchildren, Christopher, Alyssa, Hannah, Allison and David.
A celebration of Beau’s extraordinary life will begin with a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 5 at First United Methodist Church at 388 1st Avenue South in Naples. A luncheon and champagne toast will follow at Quail Creek Country Club.
The family would like to thank Juniper Village and VITAS Innovative Hospice Care for their exceptional care of Beau at the end of his life. Special thanks also to Dr. Matt Baker.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the “UF Foundation,” and mailed to the McKnight Brain Institute, P.O. Box 100243, Gainesville, FL 32610. The Dr. Beauregard Bercaw Fellowship in Alzheimer’s and dementia care has been established to help honor his memory and to help support future dementia care specialists. Please place “Dr. Bercaw” on the memo line.