in loving memory of
1967 - 2021
Live-streamed Memorial Service
Service will be live-streamed on Saturday, February 20, at 2:00 p.m.
Slideshow begins at 1:45 p.m.
Please make yourself comfortable, wherever you are.
You are invited to participate in this live-streamed service
with a cup of coffee in hand, as Terry would have done.
Join us by clicking the video image below.
All those viewing/attending this service by live-stream (or later)
are invited by the family to please sign the guest register by clicking the button below.
The Beitzel Memorial Fund at JMU has been established in memory of Terry, to preserve his legacy and support his life’s work in the areas of justice and non-violence. You are invited to contribute by clicking here: bit.ly/Beitzel-Fund
Terry Dean Beitzel, 53, of Harrisonburg, passed away Friday January 29, 2021 at Sentara RMH Medical Center. He was born in Meyersdale, Pa., on July 26, 1967, the second son of Denver Dean Beitzel and Naomi Maust Beitzel.
Terry graduated from Northern Garrett High School and pursued his undergraduate studies at Frostburg State University. He then earned a master’s degree in the history of science from Harvard University and a doctorate in conflict analysis and conflict resolution from George Mason University.
Terry was baptized and a lifelong member of Cherry Glade Mennonite Church, Accident, Md.; and a member of the faith community at Park View Mennonite Church. He enjoyed warm and deep relationships with various church members. He took his faith seriously and was grateful to be part of a church community that encouraged him to ask intellectually honest and probing questions. For Terry, faith was a whole-life endeavor that he fully integrated with his passion for social justice.
In 2007, Terry joined the faculty of the Justice Studies Department at James Madison University. Prior to coming to JMU, he taught at Bridgewater College and Eastern Mennonite University in the Peace and Justice program, and served as a research assistant for the International Criminal Court. Terry was an inspiring teacher who encouraged his students to ask questions, to accept responsibility for their learning, and to become involved in the JMU, Harrisonburg, and Rockingham County communities. The overarching question in his teaching resonates with his students long after completing a course with him: “who is responsible to do what for whom?”
Terry authored an extensive and wide-ranging series of publications and conference presentations. His scholarship explored the transitions from violent conflict; contemporary and novel approaches to furthering justice; and the role of nonviolence, responsibility, civic engagement in the lives of individuals and societies. The high quality of Terry’s work and his passion for cross-cultural community building led to collaborations in Guinea, India, Kenya, and Kosovo. The global scope of his work led him to serve as a practitioner for the Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation (GIJTR) with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC).
This impressive record of scholarship and international collaboration provided the foundation for Terry to establish the International Journal on Responsibility. Terry recruited the Editorial Board and served as the founding Editor-in-Chief. The journal serves as a forum for discourse on relevant questions of responsibility within any area of academic study or aspect of public life. The journal’s success was due, in large part, to Terry’s tireless efforts to ensure that germs of ideas ultimately came to fruition as published issues.
Terry believed deeply in nonviolent forms of conflict resolution and thus relished the chance to become the director of the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence at JMU in 2014. In that leadership role, he re-energized the Gandhi Center, generating more opportunities for JMU students and scholars to collaborate with community members in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. Partnerships were launched with varied groups such as the Valley Justice Coalition, New Bridges Immigration Center, Fairfield Mediation Center, Many Voices of Harrisonburg, and the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech. The Gandhi Center’s most recent project is the creation of the Gandhi Mobile Peace Library that will visit different local elementary and middle Schools.
He was preceded in death by his father Denver Dean.
Terry is survived and eternally loved by his wife, Sylvia Whitney Beitzel; his daughter, Myra Whitney Beitzel; his mother, Naomi Maust Beitzel; his mother-in-law, Tomasa Whitney Robledo; his brother, Gary Lynn Beitzel and sister-in-law, Dawn Sines Beitzel; his brother-in-law, Robert F Whitney and wife, Vilma Hernández; his nieces, Terah Beitzel Crawford and husband, Eric Crawford, Markell O’Faolean-Fickes and husband, Jason Fickes, Jade O’Faolean-Frushour and husband, Kenneth Frushour; his nephew, Max Lynn Beitzel and wife, Nina Glisan Beitzel, Edgar G. Whitney, and Robert T. Whitney; his grandnieces, Kennedy, Isla, and Rory O’Faolean-Fickes, and Allie Beitzel; and his grandnephews, Asher and Sawyer Crawford, and Syrus O’Faolean-Frushour.
In lieu of flowers, plans are underway to create a scholarship in Terry’s honor to which donations will be welcomed. Details will be provided at a later time through James Madison University.