Retirement from Keyport in ’76

Shamcher was the oldest civil servant in the US, when he finally retired at 80 to work on OTEC, returning to the U of California Richmond Field Station as emeritus.

Below is the article written at the time of his retirement.

Not the Retiring Type: The Story of Bryn Beorse

You wouldn’t have known he was 80 by looking at him, but that was his age when he finally retired from Keyport on December 22, 1976.

The slightly white-haired man who spoke with a bit of a Norwegian accent was well-thought-of by his coworkers who would remember him as one who had the incredible ability and initiative to pursue more than a dozen different fields of study in his lifetime.

Born in Norway in 1896, Bryn earned his masters degree in civil engineering there. Before coming to the U.S. in 1938, he traveled to more than 65 different countries and worked all over the world.

Bryn was a pioneer in the field of thermal energy, with ideas thought to be ahead of his time. Preferring thermal to atomic, he believed that a system of thermal energy plants in the earth’s warm oceans could provide 200 times as much energy as needed in this country.

Before coming to Keyport in 1961, he worked at the University of California, Boeing, and North American Aviation.He was 65 when he first passed through the Station’s gates, an age at which most have already retired. Bryn believed that age had nothing to do with limitation, “when you run into a barrier one place, then you should look elsewhere,” he said.

Bryn spent 15 years as an engineer in the Quality Assurance Program. He enjoyed his work at Keyport because he held an appreciation for U.S. weapons and the role they played in World War II.

At the age of 80, Bryn was faced with a mandatory retirement regulation by which he abided with some regret, but with even more hope for a new career field to pursue.

As he left Keyport, he affirmed that keeping active would keep him young. “I don’t think long life is a sign of a man being very wise. But keeping the mind bubbling with ideas all the time helps a man to live fully.”

Bryn Beorse upon retiring from Keyport

Bryn Beorse upon retiring from Keyport

(from Maritime Park Association)

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