Cameron Beach, 1949-2011
March 19, 2011
San Francisco has lost a true civic leader and passionate transit advocate with the passing last night of Cameron Beach at his West Portal home.
Cam, 62, had just returned from a business trip to southern California when he collapsed. Paramedics, who arrived within a few minutes, were unable to revive him.
Cam was a member of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) board of directors, who was seeking reappointment to the board at the time of his death. He worked tirelessly on the SFMTA board on behalf of the average Muni rider, trying to win improvements in service. His knowledge and experience in the transit industry, including a long stretch as Chief Operating Officer of Sacramento Regional Transit, made him a respected expert among his board peers, and a force to be reckoned with by staffers who didn’t know their facts.
We at Market Street Railway were very fortunate to have Cam serve on our board for five years. He was the organization’s vice president up until his appointment to the SFMTA board in 2007. It was at a board meeting early in 2003 when a new board member, Carmen Clark, caught his eye. I took the two out to dinner (at John’s Grill, to be historically correct) after that board meeting and we chatted merrily through dinner. The next day, both called me asking to learn more about the other. Cam and Carmen were married not long after and enjoyed wonderful years together — sadly, way too few of them.
We send our deepest condolences to Carmen, Cam’s children and other family members, along with all of his many friends in the city and the national transit community. Cam served as chair of the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association, which operates the Western Railroad Museum in Solano County. He was board chair of California Operation Lifesaver, a rail safety organization, as well as member of numerous committees of the American Public Transit Association (APTA). To say he will be missed is like saying your own heart would be missed. He was a wonderful friend and a great contributor to making San Francisco a more livable city. We will never forget him.
We will pass along information about services and other memorials as soon as we have them.