Robert A. Bean, 43, who was deputy sergeant-at-arms for the U.S. Senate and held other positions with the Treasury Department and House of Representatives, died of a heart attack May 14 while on his fishing boat on the Chesapeake Bay. He lived in Annapolis.
Following a long family tradition, he was also a charter boat captain and often took groups fishing on the Chesapeake. He was piloting his boat, with four passengers aboard, when he collapsed. By the time he was brought ashore at Annapolis, he could not be revived.
Mr. Bean began his career in the Senate at age 15 as a page under the sponsorship of Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.), the majority leader. He later served in the Democratic cloakroom, directly off the Senate floor, where his duties included assisting senators and their staffs and alerting senators when a vote was about to be taken. He had to be ready for everything from a question on parliamentary procedure to making dinner reservations.
In 1990, Mr. Bean was appointed deputy sergeant-at-arms by Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine). In that role, he became the Senate's assistant chief of law enforcement and protocol, supervising a staff of several thousand people. Besides managing the Senate's internal operations, he worked with the U.S. Capitol Police to coordinate security, escorted dignitaries through the Senate, organized senators' funerals and oversaw everything from Capitol guides to parking spaces to the Senate barbershop.
From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Bean was deputy assistant undersecretary of legislative affairs for the Treasury Department, advising Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers on legislative matters. He returned to Capitol Hill in 1999, when Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) appointed him the Democratic staff director for the Committee on House Administration.
Mr. Bean, a meticulous manager who took pride in the smooth operation of government, retired in 2002 at age 41. Earlier this year, he accepted a position as vice president with the Jefferson Consulting Group in Washington.
He was born in Leonardtown and grew up in Camp Springs. He graduated from George Washington University and received a law degree from American University's Washington College of Law in 1990.
Survivors include his mother, Margaret Trueman Bean of Camp Springs; and three brothers, John Bean of Aquasco, Kenneth Bean of Alexandria and Brian Bean of Washington.