Colleagues and friends of Dr. Robert B. Beauford returned to work after the holiday break still coping with the sudden loss of the young surgeon, who died in the Houston Intercontinental Airport on Dec. 22. He was 37.
Beauford completed a surgical residency in the division of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine in July. He recently accepted a position in Albuquerque, N.M., at the New Mexico Heart Institute.
Contributions in Dr. Beauford’s memory can be made to The Beauford Children’s Assistance Account at any Bank of America.
“He had three goals in life he wanted to accomplish: First, was to be a great husband. Second, was to be a great father and, third, to be a great heart surgeon,” said Kim Beauford, his wife of 16 years. He is also survived by his two young daughters, Kendra and Nadiah.
Plans are under way for a memorial service to be held at UF during the second week of February. Members of the department of surgery are planning to create of book of memories to present to Beauford’s family during the service.
Even though his career was unexpectedly shortened, Beauford was a nationally known role model, being one of only a handful of African-American cardiac surgeons in the United States, according to Curt Tribble, M.D., chief of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at UF.
“Robert was a very hard-working, gracious, calm, cool and collected young physician,” Tribble said. “He was never, ever cross with anyone and was always willing to help anyone, with anything. He was a loving husband and father, a trait that was readily apparent to all who saw him with his family.”
Beauford was born in Florence, S.C., and attended Hampton University, where he was a drum major for the Marching Force and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
“I spent more time with him during the last two years, much more than time with my family, that I felt like he was part of my family and a piece of me is now gone with him,” said Dr. Jason Shofnos, who was his partner during residency training. “He did not have a bad bone in his body and never spoke negatively about anyone. He was the type of person some people should strive to be like.”