May 9, 1938 – Nov. 12, 2013
Dewayne A. Beery, who taught physics for many years at Buffalo State College and was one of the first faculty members at the school to use computers in his teaching, died Nov. 12 in the Town of Tonawanda home of a relative. He was 75.
The native of North Manchester, Ind., was a 1956 graduate of Chester High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Manchester College in Indiana in 1960.
He earned a master’s degree in physics from the University of Toledo and joined the faculty of the physics department at Buffalo State College in 1963. He was appointed associate professor in 1971 and became chairman of the department in 1975.
A year later, he received his doctorate in physics from the University at Buffalo.
He was among the first faculty members at the college to learn computers, and in the 1980s he began using computer simulation and computer problem-solving in physics courses.
“He was stepping outside everybody’s comfort zone, but he just thought it was important,” said his wife of 22 years, the former Cynthia Steiger.
In addition to his teaching, Mr. Beery served in various administrative roles at Buffalo State.
In 1979, he was named acting associate dean of the faculty of natural and social sciences and became associate dean in 1981.
He was appointed assistant vice president for academic affairs in 1984, and, in 1987, he became associate vice president.
Mr. Beery took a leave of absence in 1991 to learn more about computer software so that he could better incorporate it into the physics education curriculum.
Upon his return, he managed special projects, including computer and networking facilities.
In 1993, he again was named chairman of the physics department, upon the unanimous recommendation of the faculty. He held the post until 2004.
“He was a dedicated teacher, and he was devoted to Buffalo State,” said Michael DeMarco, current department chairman. “No one could ask for a better colleague.”
Mr. Beery retired from teaching in 2006. He continued until 2010 as co-principal investigator on Dwight D. Eisenhower Education Professional Development program grants, which led to summer and academic-year training programs for high school physics teachers.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Susan H. and Sarah; and six grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood Avenue.