Mel F. McBeth, 86, a former Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, died June 11, 2020, in Concord, California at the age of 86. Mr. McBeth was born in California on February 21, 1934. From 1954 to 1956, he served in the U.S. Army in Okinawa. He earned a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University in 1959 and worked in banking in San Francisco until 1966, when he joined USAID for an assignment in Seoul, South Korea. In 1967, he became an international trade and investment promotion advisor in South Korea. In 1971, he became a private enterprise advisor in Saigon, South Vietnam. Later that year, he was detailed to the State Department. As a geographer, he produced notes on geographical changes for borders, provinces and city names, which were sent to various government agencies.
In 1975, he was let go along with other personnel in a reduction in force. Mr. McBeth then moved to San Francisco where he worked for Safeco Title and Commonwealth Title until his office was closed. He took computer courses, and then went to work for a medical company in Oakland, retiring in 2000. Friends note Mr. McBeth’s lifelong thirst for knowledge and spirit of adventure. He traveled to 88 countries. Mostly by road, he also traveled nationwide to all 50 states and their capitals, as well as every county in California. Also an avid walker, Mr. McBeth walked more than 80 percent of San Francisco’s streets between 1982 and 1999. Mr. McBeth was a member of AFSA, the Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco State University Lifetime Alumni, and the Del Norte County Historical Society.
Mr. McBeth is survived by his wife Barbara; his daughters Rachel McBeth and Melinda (Jon) Bauman; his son, Erik (Wendy) McBeth; his step-daughters Michelle (Sean) Lynch, Kathleen Duryee, and Jacquelyn (Josh) Morris; his grandson Tyler Lopez; his step-grandsons Theo Bauman and Andrei Lynch; and granddaughters Sarah McBeth, Amy (Richard) Andrews, Karina (Andrew) Long, and Emily McBeth.