OBITUARY: Dr. Catherine Herlihy Beyer, 86

Catherine Herlihy Beyer, 86, of Charlotte, North Carolina passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

Catherine was one of five children born to James Joseph Herlihy and Mary Rogers Herlihy of Worcester, Massachusetts. After finishing high school in Worcester, she attended Trinity College in Washington D.C. and graduated in 1958.

Dr. Catherine Herlihy Beyer

She went on to earn a masters of arts in teaching from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1959. After a few years of teaching, Catherine changed her focus to become a physician.

She was one of only three women admitted to the Class of 1967 at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. After medical school, Catherine completed residency training in pediatrics and fellowship training in developmental pediatrics.

She met her husband and the love of her life, Alfred James (“Jim”) Beyer, Jr., while in medical school at Case Western. Jim completed training and practiced as a general surgeon for many years.

Together, they had two sons, Alfred James (“Jay”) Beyer III and John Huddleston Beyer. Catherine and Jim were happily married for 56 years. Later in life, Jim developed Alzheimer’s disease. Catherine was a tireless and devoted caregiver to her husband until the day she passed.

Catherine had a long, successful career in medicine. She first practiced pediatrics in Fayetteville, North Carolina in the early 1970s while Jim served in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg. Upon completion of Jim’s military service, the couple moved to Marblehead with their two young sons.

From 1975 to 1982, Catherine practiced as a general pediatrician with the Community Health Centers of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. While there, she served as a co-chief of pediatrics at Mass General.

Catherine and Jim returned to Fayetteville in 1982, where Catherine continued to practice general pediatrics and Jim started a general surgery practice. After 10 more years of practicing pediatrics, Catherine accepted a position with the Rumbaugh Child Psychiatry Clinic, a project of the Department of Defense, where she served military families as a full-time developmental pediatrician.

In 1995, she joined the child psychiatry staff of behavioral health care of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where she was the only developmental pediatrician on a staff of child psychiatrists. During her career in Fayetteville, Catherine served on the board of trustees of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and as chief of the medical staff.

As a working mother, Catherine always put her family first. She helped with homework, attended Little League games and school events, traveled to tennis tournaments all over the Southeast, and cherished family vacations.

While in Massachusetts, Catherine and Jim enjoyed living by the water, sailing and spending time with their boys.

After retirement, they spent many years together enjoying the beautiful North Carolina coast and spending time with great friends.

In 2018, Catherine and Jim moved from the Wilmington area to Charlotte and lived at the Cypress to be close to their son, John, and his family, and Catherine’s sister, Trish Doyle, and her family. During her time at the Cypress, Catherine came to love the community and the many friends she made there.

Catherine was passionate about children of all ages. She loved watching a baby develop into a toddler, an adolescent, and finally a young adult. She did not believe in “good ages” or “bad ages” for children and insisted that children of all ages and stages of development are wonderful in their own special ways. She counseled countless children and their families faced with challenging behavioral or learning issues.

Personally, she was immensely proud of her four grandchildren and enjoyed nothing more than attending their sporting events, awards ceremonies, and graduations. She especially cherished spending time with them at the beach or over a good family meal.

Catherine was an avid reader and participated in several book clubs over the years. She was also an avid sports fan. She loved football, basketball, baseball, and golf. She could recite the latest standings, big trades, major upsets, or other headlines in sports. Her favorite teams were the Boston Red Sox and Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball team. She often was too nervous to watch her favorite teams play, so she would use her phone or a computer to keep up with the score without actually watching the game.

Catherine is survived by her husband, Dr. Jim Beyer; her son, John Beyer, and his wife, Laura Turner Beyer of Charlotte; her daughter-in-law, Kristin Blevins Beyer, of Denver, North Carolina; her grandchildren, Logan Nicole Beyer, Jackson Blevins Beyer, Mary John Beyer, and Thomas Huddleston Beyer. Also surviving are her sisters, Patricia Herlihy Doyle of Charlotte and Jane Herlihy Dee of Glen Ridge, New Jersey; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and their families.

She was predeceased by her parents; son, Jay; sister, Maureen Herlihy Kirkendall, and her brother, Jay Herlihy.

The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, at The Morehead Inn, 1122 East Morehead St., Charlotte, NC 28204. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 3016 Providence Road in Charlotte.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of Catherine to Memory and Movement Charlotte, 411 Billingsley Road, Suite 103, Charlotte, NC 28211. Memory and Movement Charlotte is a not-for-profit medical practice offering care to patients with memory and movement disorders and their families. The staff at Memory and Movement Charlotte continue to care for Jim and support his family.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at

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