He had pneumonia, said a daughter, Sandra Beyer.
Col. Beyer, who was known as Buck, was interested in automobiles from childhood and raced cars and motorcycles in his younger days. He opened his first auto dealership in Falls Church, Va., in 1973.
He wanted to call the business "Pirate Motors," with the slogan "where your wallet walks the plank."
His wife vetoed that idea, and the dealership was called simply Don Beyer Volvo.
When he opened the doors, Col. Beyer said his goal was to sell a car a day. In the past year, according to his family, the nine Beyer franchises throughout Northern Virginia sold more than 5,000 Volvos, Kias, Land Rovers, Mazdas, Subarus and Volkswagens.
Donald Sternoff Beyer was born Jan. 6, 1924, in New York City. He moved to the Washington area as a boy and grew up on a farm in McLean, Va.
His father was a labor negotiator and onetime chairman of the National Mediation Board. His mother once headed the Bureau of Labor Standards.
By the age of 6, Col. Beyer was repairing the family car, and at 12, according to his family, he built one with spare parts scavenged from a junkyard.
He graduated from the old Western High School in the District and was a 1946 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where he was a member of the wrestling team.
In the late 1940s, he served at a displaced-persons camp in Korea. He spent much of his Army career as a military police officer and was provost marshal at West Point from 1952 to 1955.
He also headed the military police unit on the Pacific atoll of Eniwetok, where the United States conducted atomic bomb tests in the 1950s.
Col. Beyer retired from the Army in 1966 and worked for the L.P. Steuart auto business in Washington before launching his own business.
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Read the obituary: Charles Manson, cult leader and murder-rampage mastermind who terrified nation, dies at 83 Mel Tillis performs onstage at 2011 Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 30, 2011, in Indio, Calif. Tillis died Nov 19 in Ocala, Fla., at age 85. Read the obituary: Mel Tillis, stuttering country star whose music spoke pristinely, dies at 85 Liz Smith, center, seen with Ivana Trump, right, was a gossip columnist who dished on the boldfaced-name set. She died on Nov. 12 in New York at 94. Read the obituary: Liz Smith, gossip columnist who dished on the boldfaced-name set, dies at 94 Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the bawdy hard rock band AC/DC who helped create such head-banging anthems as “Highway to Hell,” “Hells Bells” and “Back in Black,” died at 64. Read the obituary: AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64 Singer, composer and pianist Fats Domino, shown in 1956, influenced early rock-and-roll and dominated R&B charts in the late 1950s. He died Oct. 24 at age 89. Read the obituary: Fats Domino, boogie-woogie pianist who helped launch rock-and-roll Actor Robert Guillaume, shown here in 1991, won Emmy Awards for his roles on “Soap” and “Benson.” He died Oct. 24 in Los Angeles at age 89. Guillaume’s widow, Donna Brown Guillaume, says he had been battling prostate cancer. Read the obituary: Robert Guillaume, star of hit sitcom ‘Benson,’ dies at 89 Tom Petty, performing here at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., in 2006, has died at age 66. Petty died Oct. 2 at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after he suffered cardiac arrest. Read the obituary: Tom Petty, Hall of Fame singer who became rock mainstay in 1970s, dies at 66 Hugh Hefner poses with Playboy bunnies at the Playboy Club in Los Angeles in 1986. Hefner, who founded Playboy magazine in 1953, died at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on Sept. 27. Read the obituary: Hugh Hefner, visionary editor who founded Playboy magazine dies at 91 Jake LaMotta, right, fights Marcel Cerdan at Briggs Stadium in Detroit on June 16, 1949. LaMotta, whose life was depicted in the film “Raging Bull,” died Sept. 19. He was 95. Read the obituary: Jake LaMotta, ‘Raging Bull’ of boxing, dies at 95 Author Lillian Ross in New York’s Central Park in 1997. The New Yorker journalist died Sept. 20. Read the obituary: Lillian Ross, New Yorker journalist who helped create the nonfiction novel, dies at 99 Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, whose quick-witted insults and promotional antics made him one of the most popular figures in pro wrestling, died Sept. 17. He was 72. Read the obituary: Bobby Heenan, quick-witted promoter of the bad boys of wrestling, dies at 72 Actor Harry Dean Stanton, shown in 2006, was known for roles in “Paris, Texas,” “Repo Man” and “Big Love,” among other TV and film appearances. He died Sept. 15. Read the obituary: Harry Dean Stanton, actor who excelled at playing losers and eccentrics, dies at 91 Edith Windsor greets a crowd outside the Supreme Court after arguments in her case against the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. She died Sept. 12. Read the obituary: Edith Windsor, who led fight for federal benefits for same-sex couples, dies at 88 Feminist activist Kate Millett, right, laughs during a birthday party for her niece in New York on May 21, 1979. Millett, the activist, artist and educator whose best-selling “Sexual Politics” was a landmark of cultural criticism, died Sept. 7 at age 82. Read the obituary: Kate Millett, ‘high priestess’ of second-wave feminism, dies at 82 Comedian Jerry Lewis is shown in the projection and cutting room of his home in Hollywood on July 29, 1960, He died Aug. 20 at age 91. Read the obituary: Jerry Lewis, comedy king and master of slapstick, dies at 91. Dick Gregory, who spent his life as a comedian and an uncompromising advocate for a variety of causes, including civil rights and healthier living, died Aug. 19 at age 84. Read the obituary: Dick Gregory, cutting-edge satirist and uncompromising activist, dies at 84. Country star and guitar prodigy Glen Campbell is seen performing in 1987. Campbell died at age 81 on Aug. 8 in Nashville. Read the obituary: Glen Campbell, clean-cut country star and crossover hitmaker, dies at 81.
Photos: Remembering superstar entertainer Glen Campbell Actress Barbara Cook in a scene from “The Gay Life,” at the Shubert Theater in New York in 1962. She died Aug. 8 at her home in Manhattan at age 89. Read the obituary: Barbara Cook, luminous singer of Broadway stage, dies at 89 Notre Dame head football coach Ara Parseghian, center, poses in 1969 with Joe Theismann, left, and Mike McCoy. Parseghian, who restored the Notre Dame football program to glory, died Aug. 2 at his home in Granger, Ind. He was 94. Read the obituary: Ara Parseghian, who won two national football titles at Notre Dame, dies at 94 Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author, died of complications from Lou Gehrig’s disease, on July 27. He was 73. Read the obituary: Sam Shepard, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor, dies at 73 French film actress Jeanne Moreau poses in London in 1962, shortly after her arrival from Paris. Moreau died July 31 at age 89. Read the obituary: Jeanne Moreau, spellbinding movie star, dies at 89 Jim Vance, a broadcast stalwart at WRC-TV (Channel 4) in Washington, who was among the first black anchors in a major media market, died at 75 after being diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Photos: Jim Vance, longtime Washington, D.C. news anchor (1942-2017)
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Read the obituary: Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Peace Prize laureate imprisoned in China, dies at 61 Helmut Kohl, the West German politician who helped reunify Germany, died June 16 at his home in Ludwigshafen. He was 87. Kohl is shown in 1990 waving to the thousands of East Germans who gathered at Peace Square for an election rally. Read the obituary: Helmut Kohl, German statesman who united his country after Cold War, dies at 87 Former D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), a bow-tied activist who became a force for tenant’s rights and constituent services in a quickly gentrifying city, died June 15 at age 71.
Read the obituary: Former D.C. Council member Jim Graham has died Adam West, who portrayed the superhero Batman in a wildly popular television show in the 1960s and who seemed trapped in the character’s cape and tights for the rest of his career, died June 9 in Los Angeles. He was 88.
Photos: Actor Adam West, TV’s original Batman (1928–2017)
Read the obituary: Adam West, the actor forever known as TV’s Batman, dies at 88 Panamanian strongman Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, 83, died May 30. Here, he waves to supporters in 1988 at the presidential palace in Panama City. He was removed from power by the United States the following year. See more photos: Manuel Antonio Noriega, former Panama strongman (1934-2017).
Read the obituary. Singer and musician Gregg Allman, 69, died May 27 at his home in Savannah, Ga. For decades, Allman was the frontman of the Allman Brothers Band, a pioneering but conflict-ridden blues-rock collective that modeled its guitar runs on the melodies of Brahms and performed instrumental jams inspired by the improvisational jazz greats Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Read the obituary: Gregg Allman, Southern rock heavyweight of Allman Brothers fame, dies at 69 Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85. A Kentucky Republican, he was the only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to serve in Congress. He spent 16 seasons in Major League Baseball and served in both the U.S. House and Senate from 1987-2011. Read the obituary: Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. senator Jim Bunning dies at 85 Zbigniew Brzezinski, the combative, visionary foreign policy intellectual who helped bring Jimmy Carter to the White House in 1976 and then guided him through international crises that contributed significantly to Carter’s defeat at the polls four years later, died May 26. He was 89. Read the obituary: Zbigniew Brzezinski, foreign policy intellectual who served as Carter’s national security adviser, dies British actor Roger Moore, who played James Bond in seven films, is seen on location in England in 1972. He died May 23 from cancer.
Read the obituary: Roger Moore, suave actor who held James Bond role the longest, dies at 89 Socialite-actress Dina Merrill models the gown she wore at the Academy Awards presentation in Los Angeles in 1962. Merrill, a rebellious heiress who defied her super-rich parents to become an actress, died May 22 at age 93. Read the obituary: Dina Merrill, actress and philanthropist of aristocratic poise, dies at 93 The longtime chairman and chief executive of the Fox News Channel who made it a politically influential powerhouse, until his abrupt ouster last year on sexual harassment allegations, died May 18 at age 77. Read the obituary: Roger Ailes, architect of conservative juggernaut Fox News, is dead at 77 The co-founder and frontman of Soundgarden and a key figure in the grunge rock movement died May 17 after playing a show in Detroit with the Grammy-winning Seattle band. He was 52.
Read the obituary: Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, a founding father of grunge, dead at 52 Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms “Happy Days” and “Joanie Loves Chachi,” died April 22. She was 56. Read the obituary: Erin Moran, actress from ‘Happy Days’ TV show, dies at 56 Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for murder, was found dead after hanging himself in his prison cell. He was 27. Aaron Hernandez, former Patriots star, hangs himself in prison Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African American woman to serve on New York’s highest court and the first female Muslim judge in the country, was found dead in the Hudson River on April 12. She was 65. Sheila Abdus-Salaam, first female Muslim judge in the U.S., found dead in Hudson River Don Rickles, shown in 1977. The irrepressible master of the comic insult whose humor was a fast-paced, high-volume litany of mockery in which members of his audience were the (usually) willing victims of his verbal assaults, died April 6 at his home Los Angeles. He was 90.
Read the obituary: Don Rickles, lightning-fast launcher of comic insults, dies at 90
Photos: Legendary comic Don Rickles Roger W. Wilkins, an assistant attorney general in the Johnson administration, later composed Pulitzer Prize-winning editorials about the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post and wrote about being a black man in a position of influence. Here, Wilkins is shown with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Read the obituary: Roger Wilkins, civil rights champion in government and journalism, dies at 85 The host of “The Gong Show” and the creative force behind “The Dating Game,” “The Newlywed Game” and many other game shows that were precursors to current reality programs died March 21 in Palisades, N.Y. He was 87.
Chuck Barris, host of ‘The Gong Show’ who wildly claimed to be a CIA assassin, dead at 87 David Rockefeller Sr., the heir to a vast and storied family fortune who, as president, chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Bank, transformed a listless business into one of the world’s largest financial institutions, died March 20 at his home in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. He was 101. Read the obituary: David Rockefeller Sr., steward of family fortune and Chase Manhattan Bank, dies at 101 Jimmy Breslin, long the gruff and rumpled king of street-wise New York newspaper columnists, a Pulitzer Prize winner whose muscular, unadorned prose pummeled the venal, deflated the pompous and gave voice to ordinary city dwellers for decades, died March 19 at his home in Manhattan. He was 88. Read the obituary:
Columnist Jimmy Breslin, bard of the New York streets, dies at 88 Chuck Berry, the perpetual wild man of rock music who helped define its rebellious spirit in the 1950s and was the sly poet laureate of songs about girls, cars, school and even the “any old way you choose it” vitality of the music itself, died March 18 at his home in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90. Photos: The career of rock-and-roll legend Chuck Berry (1926-2017)
Read the obituary: Chuck Berry, wild man of rock who helped define its rebellious spirit, dies at 90 Principal host of Turner Classic Movies, Robert Osborne, author of “80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards,” is shown in 2009. He died March 6 at his home in New York at age 84. Read the obituary: Robert Osborne, Turner Classic Movies host and film historian, dies at 84 WWDC’s talks show personality Fred Fiske, shown in 1976, had the longest-running career in Washington radio history. He died March 2 at a hospice center in Columbus, Ohio. He was 96. Read the obituary: Fred Fiske, Washington radio personality for six decades, dies at 96 Prolific and charismatic actor Bill Paxton, who played an astronaut in “Apollo 13” and a treasure hunter in “Titanic,” died Feb. 25 from complications due to surgery. He was 61. Read the obituary: Family representative: ‘Titanic’ actor Bill Paxton has died Judge Joseph A. Wapner of the TV program “The People's Court” helped spawn an entire genre of courtroom-based reality television. The flinty, folksy retired California judge died Feb. 26 in Los Angeles of an unknown cause. He was 97. Read the obituary: Joseph Wapner, judge on ‘The People’s Court,’ dies at 97 Norma McCorvey, left, who was 22, unwed, mired in addiction and poverty, and desperate for a way out of an unwanted pregnancy when she became Jane Roe, the pseudonymous plaintiff of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right to an abortion, died Feb. 18 at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Tex. She was 69. Photos: Remembering Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade (1947–2017)
Read the obituary: Norma McCorvey dies at 69 Singer Al Jarreau, holding his 1982 Grammy awards for best pop male vocalist and best jazz male vocalist, died Feb. 12 at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 76. Read his obituary: Al Jarreau, seven-time Grammy-winning singer, dies at 76 Mary Tyler Moore, one of television’s finest comedic actresses known for her roles in two of the most popular sitcoms of all
time, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in the 1960s and her eponymous 1970s show, died at 80 on Jan. 25. See photos of her life.
Read the obituary: Mary Tyler Moore, TV star who became a symbol of women’s liberation, dies at 80 William Peter Blatty, author and producer of the Warner Bros. film version of his best-selling novel “The Exorcist,” is shown in 1980. He died on Jan. 12. Read his obit: William Peter Blatty, author of ‘The Exorcist,’ dies at 89 Clare Hollingworth, a war correspondent who scooped the world on the start of World War II, died on Jan. 10 at 105. Read her obit: Clare Hollingworth, reporter who broke news about start of World War II, dies at 105
See more photos Former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, shown in 2013, died on Jan. 8. Read his obit: Iran’s former president, set to play key role in selecting next supreme leader, dies Photo Gallery: Remembering those who died in 2017.
He turned day-to-day management over to his sons in the 1980s, but "he kept his finger in the business until the end," Don Beyer Jr. said in an interview. Col. Beyer lived in Falls Church and, in later years, toured the country with his wife in motor homes.
His wife of 51 years, the former Nancy McDonald, died in 1999. A daughter, Kathy Beyer, died in 2014.
Survivors include five children: Beyer Jr. of Alexandria, a former Virginia lieutenant governor who was elected to Congress in 2014
; Sherry Beyer of Falls Church; Marylee "Weetie" Hill of Vienna, Va.; Sandra Beyer of Menomini, Mich.; and Michael Beyer of Falls Church. He had 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
His companion of seven years was Betty Knight of Leesburg, Va.
Col. Beyer, who was a charter member of NASCAR, gave up auto racing when he got married. But he always a drove muscle cars, Beyer Jr. said. His most recent car was a 485-horsepower Dodge Charger.
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