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Family Life

Beattie Family Memories

``When he came home and said the next one was in Tokyo, I decided to start training.''That was in 1986. Jack Beattie, a state high school swim champion in Michigan, set his first world record - 32.41 seconds in the 50-meter back stroke race - at the meet in Japan.

The two have been swimming around the world together ever since. Two years ago, the Beatties competed in Maui, Hawaii. Last year, it was Casablanca, Morocco. He has won a national championship every year for wins in 50-, 100- or 200-meter races. He won six gold medals and set two world records in 1990 at the national meet in Texas.


"My stroke is the butterfly,'' Ernestine Beattie says. ``I'm not as good as Jack.' 'Still, she won national women's championships in 1993 and 1997 and usually ranks among the Masters' Top 10 female swimmers in the United States. Swimming isn't their only shared interest. The couple also snow ski once or twice a year in Colorado. She was ranked the best female skier in the 50-to-60 age group in 1993 by the Florida Ski Council.

From 1968 to 1975, the Beatties were key Republican fund-raisers while Jack Beattie served as chairman of the Orange County Republican Executive Committee. Ernestine Beattie served with him, as a precinct committeewoman.
The walls of a small anteroom in their home are filled with pictures of the couple posing with such top politicians as former President Ronald Reagan, former Florida Gov. Claude Kirk and former U.S. Sen. Paula Hawkins, a Winter Park neighbor and friend.

The Beatties met at the University of Michigan in the late 1950s. He was attending dental school and she was majoring in bacteriology.
They married in 1959 and moved to Cleveland, where Jack specialized in orthodontics at Case Western Reserve University. They moved to Florida after he graduated in 1963.

``A successful marriage is one of life's greatest challenges,'' said Ernestine Beattie. ``Jack and I are into challenges.''

Jack & Ernestine Beattie celebrate their Anniversary


Life Together Is Still Going Along Swimmingly

Jack And Ernestine Beattie Celebrate 50 Years Of Marriage Spent Making Some Waves.

Looking for a way to make your marriage last? You might want to take lessons from Jack and Ernestine Beattie. Swimming lessons, that is. The Winter Park couple are celebrating their 40th anniversary today at their home, Villa del Lago, on Lake Maitland.


Much of the credit for reaching that milestone, they say, goes to their winning butterfly and back strokes. Both are champion swimmers with the U.S. Masters Swimming Program for adults, age 19 and older.

``There are so many things we have in common ... things we love to do,'' Ernestine Beattie said. ``It keeps us looking toward the future.'' Jack Beattie, a retired orthodontist and a former Republican Executive Committee chairman in Orange County, has been setting world swim records and winning national Masters' meets in his age category for 24 years.


His wife decided to join him in the Masteers years ago.

``Jack went to an international meet in Toronto and had a really good time,'' his wife remembers.

Beattie Family Swim

John & Jeff Beattie

Great Swimming Is All In The Family For Beattie Clan

September 17, 1992 |By John Devine Of The Sentinel Staff


Water, water every where. Nor any drop to drink.

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

No one can exist without air, but for the Beattie family, water is almost as important.

For Jack and Ernestine Beattie and their children - John, Jeff and Kim - water appears to be their medium of choice. Each member of the family is a swimmer with a great reputation.


Patriarch Jack Beattie, 57, started the family trend. An All-American at Michigan State University from 1952 to 1956 Beattie holds the world record in his age group in the masters' division for the 100-and 200-meter backstroke. His wife, Ernestine, finished third in the women's division of the 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter butterfly.

In spite of their own successes, the parents didn't force their children into competitive swimming. But a lake in their Winter Park back yard drew the kids to the sport.


''We grew up living on a lake,'' John said. ''Everything we did was around the lake. We would water ski and sail and were strong swimmers as a result. We didn't do a lot of (competitive) swimming until the YMCA.''

Their father was a stronger swimmer, but the children credit their mother for a lot of their swimming development.

''When we were all young, she was more instrumental in our swimming than my father,'' John said. ''She would take us to practice at 5:30 in the morning before school, practice after school and to the swim meets. When we were old enough to drive ourselves, she would still come to all the swim meets.''


Each child put his or her time in the pool to good use. John, 31, was the state champion at Winter Park High School in 1979. He swam for the University of Florida and the University of Miami. Jeff, 29, won a state championship as a member of a relay team and swam his freshman year for UF. Kim, 25, was the most successful of the children. In 1985, she won the 100-, 200-and 500-meter freestyle for Winter Park High School and parlayed her talents into a scholarship at the University of North Carolina. While at Chapel Hill, Kim won five Atlantic Coast Conference Championships and participated in the 1988 Olympic Trials.


''The kids put in all the work, and they were fortunate to have (long-time Rollins College and Blue Dolfins coach) Harry Mizell to coach them,'' Ernestine Beattie said. ''We didn't pressure them into anything.'' That includes career choices. John and Jeff followed their father into the dental profession. John is an orthodontist like his father, and Jeff just complet- ed his residency in oral surgery in Oakland, Calif. John works with his father and enjoys the union as a symbiotic experience.


''Having John there gives Jack extra free time and brings fresh ideas into the office,'' Ernestine Beattie said.

John enjoys the partnership for other reasons. ''It's amazing how you come out of school thinking you know everything you need to know for a while,'' he said. ''After being in the practice for a few months, I figured out there's a lot of things you don't know. When I'm planning a treatment, I try to think about how it will turn out. Dad's done it so many times, he already knows how it will turn out.''

Baldwin Park Living feature article John Beattie

Dr. John Beattie was featured on the cover of the January 2013 issue of Baldwin Park Living. Read the article here:

Winning Smile

by Sarah Wilson | Winter Park Maitland Observer Jan. 16, 2013


There are two key traits being passed down through generations of the Beattie family: a fascination with dentistry, and a superb knack for swimming. Together the Beatties have held four individual All American swimming honors, countless national championship titles, a handful of world records, and three licenses of dentistry.


Following in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Jack Beattie — who held swimming world records and founded Beattie Family Orthodontics — Dr. John Beattie of Baldwin Park has spent much of his life perfecting clients’ smiles and his swimming stroke.


“Everybody in our family has put in their time in the pool,” John said. “And dental school, I guess.” Now Jack is retired, and John runs Beattie Family Orthodontics from its office in Baldwin Park. When he’s not at his Baldwin Park home or the office, he’s often found taking laps in his swim cap and goggles in the pool at Grace Hopper Hall.


After he reached All American status at the University of Florida, John took a break from competitive swimming. Then last summer, he decided to dive back into it and hasn’t stopped since.


For more information on John Beattie and Beattie Family Orthodontics, located at 960 Lake Baldwin Lane, visit In his first year in U.S. Masters swimming, he won two silvers and placed in the top 10 in the world in his age group.


“There’s something so rewarding about focusing and zeroing in on something, focusing on the goal of competition,” he said. “It feels good.” His other favorite feel-good moment comes in his orthodontics office. As John was growing up in Winter Park, he watched his father craft smiles for a living. “I got to see what a rewarding profession it was,” he said. The moment someone gets their braces off and sees their perfectly straight, beautiful smile for the first time, he said, is a moment he knows they’ll never forget, and one he’s proud to have spent his 22-year career being a part of. “It’s such a special moment when someone’s braces come off,” said John, who remembers everything he did the day he got his braces off: riding around to show friends his new smile, eating all the foods he hadn’t been able to eat in a while.


His two children, John, 9, and Jackie, 7, are still braces-free. “You should know that he has two awesome kids, and he does great teeth,” Jackie said, shooting a still baby-toothed smile at her father. While the braces will wait, passing along his passion of swimming to his kids has already started. “It brings back a lot of memories, it’s so fun to see their faces when they come out of the pool and after the race with their blue ribbons,” he said.

And the Beattie family legacy continues.

Dr. Jeff Beattie

Jeff had early success as a swimmer and athlete garnering Winter Park YMCA Most Outstanding athlete in 1971, 1972, and 1973.  He competed in all sports including flag football, basketball, and track and field.  He was a member of the Maitland Jr. High basketball team in 1975. He was the gold medalist in the 50 fly at Florida Junior Olympics in 1975.


He was the Junior High Orange County Swimming Champion in the Butterfly and Breaststoke events representing Maitland Jr. High in 1977. He was  a member of the Winter Park High gold medal relay at the Florida High School State Championships and was elected to All-Orange Co. Swim Team.


Jeff is listed in the 1978-1979 edition of Who's Who Among American High School Students. He went on to compete in swimming at the college level and was a varsity letter winner at FSU.


He received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and his D.M.D. degree from the University of Florida, College of Dentistry. He completed a four-year surgical residency at Alameda County Medical Center in the San Francisco Bay area at Oakland Hospital, California. . He has been in private practice since 1992. In addition to routine oral surgery, Dr. Beattie’s interests are in reconstructive jaw surgery and dental implants.


Dr. Beattie is a Diplomat of the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. He is on staff at Orlando Regional Healthcare System and participates in a succesful medical practce in the Winter Park area..


He is also presently competing in the Masters Swim program and is ranked in the top ten nationally for his age group.


Jeff and his wife Tracey have two children, Nick and Jake.

Kim Beattie Nordheim - Hall of Fame

After graduating from UNC, Kim received her Law Degree, passed the Florida Bar, and practiced as an assistant state prosecutor in both Orange and Monroe Counties. She was subsequently appointed assistant special prosecutor to the independent Island Nation of Palau in the Pacific.


She presently practices law part time in Boca Raton and is married to Greg Nordheim. They have two children, Caroline and Gregory.

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