Carl Peter Beernink, a financial officer who achieved All-America status as a lacrosse player at what was then Towson State, died July 2 during a softball game with his co-workers. He was taken to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. A medical cause was unavailable, family members said.
The Towson resident was 50.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Sparks, he was the son of Leopold Alexander Beernink, a Baltimore City high school history teacher who had been born in The Netherlands, and his wife, Mary Moran, a Baltimore County elementary school teacher.
He was a 1987 graduate of Loyola Blakefield. Friends said Mr. Beernink played lacrosse at Loyola and in the Baltimore County Recreation League.
He received a bachelor’s degree at what is now Towson University, where he also played lacrosse. A defenseman, he was named to the All-America team for three years. He received honorable mention in 1990 and 1991, he was a second team All-America honoree in 1992.
As a senior he was one of the team’s co-captains. He was awarded the school’s Joseph Ferrante Award in 1991 and was also received the university's Male Unsung Hero Award at the 1992 sports award banquet.
"Carl elevated Towson’s lacrosse program," said John Blatchley, a longtime friend and teammate. "He will go down as one of Towson’s greatest defensemen.
“He was a tenacious warrior on the field,” Mr. Blatchley said. “If he were playing you, you knew it would be a long day and a lot of work. Off the field, he was a teddy bear.”
He was named to Towson University’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010; the induction award described him as “an aggressive defenseman who was recognized for his consistent play.”
The Hall of Fame honor also notes that: “During his four-year career at Towson, he helped the Tigers compile a 41-14 record and earn the first three NCAA Division I post-season appearances in school history.”
Mr. Beernink later played for the Pittsburgh Bulls and for other teams, including those associated with The Greene Turtle, Latshaw, Koopers and Mount Washington.
He met his future wife, Michelle Myers, when she was a Notre Dame Preparatory School student. She said they had known each other at school activities but met again at The Greene Turtle in Fells Point.
“He told me to give him a call,” his wife said. “I replied that’s not the way it works — call me. And he did.”
Mr. Beernink worked at the investment firm of T. Rowe Price before joining the old Alex. Brown & Sons. After it changed hands, he returned to T. Rowe Price and worked as an editor of financial proposals.
Since 2014 he worked at Brown Advisory in Fells Point. He was an operating officer for the Baltimore-based clients of the firm.
“He had a larger-than-life personality. He had a big heart and he would be the person to reach out and see if he could help and make [things] better,” said Eric Spilman, a friend and Brown Advisory colleague. “He was a central person in the office. He always had your best interest at heart.”
Mr. Beernink traveled throughout The Netherlands with his family and visited his father’s birthplace. He had a personal Dutch motto that translated to: “Everything I do, I do for my family.”
He coached girls lacrosse at the C. Markland Kelly Post and at Immaculate Conception School. He followed the Liverpool Football Club. He was a popular music enthusiast and kept an extensive iTunes library.
He also loved astronomy, his wife said. “He loved the weather and thunderstorms and would follow the International Space Station in the skies at night.”
Patrick Cooke, his brother-in-law, said, “Carl was a wonderful husband and father and would do anything he could for his family. … We will miss his sense of humor and we will miss his presence. He was a thoughtful, quiet man who had an intense desire to do everything well.”
A funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. July 30 at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, 13717 Cuba Road, Hunt Valley.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 25 years, a client relationship manager for a financial adviser; three daughters, Emma Beernink, Gretchen Beernink and Stella Beernink, all students who live in Towson; his mother, Mary Moran Beernink of Monkton; and two sisters, Katie Cooke of Monkton and Erika Lopresti of Cleveland.