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Eugene N. Beesley

Posted 2010-06-07 by Sharon
Wickenburg Sun, Wickenburg, Arizona
February 12, 1976

Funeral services were held Wednesday for Eugene N. Beesley, 67, who died Sunday in Indianapolis, Ind. Beesley, retired President and chairman of the Board of Eli Lilly and Company, was a long-time winter visitor her and a frequent guest of the Rancho de Los Caballeros. The Beesley’s built one of the first homes in Casas de los Caballeros.

A native of Thorntown, Ind., Beesley joined Eli Lilly and Company after graduation from Wabash College in 1929. He was named executive vice president and was elected to the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s board of Directors in 1952. One year later he became the fifth president of the company, the first person outside of the Lilly family to hold that position.

During his career, Beesley also served as a director of the general Motors Corporation, the Proctor and Gamble Co., the American Fletcher Corporation, the Indiana University foundation and Public Service of Indiana. He served two terms, from 1961-63, as chairman of the board of directors of the Pharmaceutical manufacturers Association.
Beesley, who earned a degree from the Indiana University Law School, held honorary degrees from eight different colleges.

He served as an elder in the Second Presbyterian Church in Indiana, was president of the Board of the Trustees of the United Presbyterian Foundation, and was a member of the Board of Governors of the Associated College of Indiana.

At the time of his death, Beesley was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Lilly Endowment, Inc., the philanthropic organization created by the Lilly family.

Survivors include his wife, Marian; a daughter, Mrs. Needham Hurst; and a son, Mark, all of Indianapolis.

Friends in Wickenburg remember Mr. Beesley as a great naturalist who loved the desert climate and landscape of Wickenburg




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