Paul "Skip" Beach Jr., a Chesapeake Bay pilot for more than 40 years, died Tuesday of lung cancer at his Lutherville home. He was 74.
Mr. Beach was raised on Cloverhill Road in Baltimore and studied at Cranwell Preparatory School in Massachusetts. He graduated in 1950 from Boys' Latin School of Maryland, where he played football, basketball and lacrosse.
He followed his father into the Association of Maryland Pilots, where he apprenticed for six years before becoming licensed to guide large ships through the Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore and Cape Henry, Va.
Although the job required Mr. Beach to be away from home for several days at a time and to work at all hours and on holidays, his family said he enjoyed being a pilot. He retired in 1993.
"He said he liked it because he met people from all over the world," said his daughter-in-law, Janet Beach of Towson.
Mr. Beach married Anne Louis Seifert in 1953 after meeting her in the neighborhood where they lived. The two raised four sons on Woodbine Avenue in Towson and lived for the past 17 years in Lutherville.
Mr. Beach enjoyed following high school lacrosse and attending his grandchildren's sporting events.
He and his wife traveled regularly to Ocean City and took cruises all over the world. For about 18 years, the couple went to Barbados every winter, where Mr. Beach liked to snorkel and swim.
He was an avid birdwatcher, with numerous bird feeders at his home. He was also a 40-year member of Alcoholics Anonymous who often reached out to other members in need of support.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday at Church of the Immaculate Conception, 200 Ware Ave., Towson, where Mr. Beach was a communicant.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons, P. David Beach, Joseph M. Beach, Thomas W. Beach and Timothy E. Beach, all of Towson; a sister, Patricia Beach Medairy of Rodgers Forge; and three grandchildren.