He was born to William and Sofie (nee Woker), his mother died shortly after his birth during the flu epidemic and father died around his first birthday, so he was brought up by his Aunt Millie in Southern Illinois. He started his advanced degree work after high school at the University of Missouri in music. Later in school, his passion moved to chemical engineering, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree. His first job was at Seagram’s, moving whiskey casks around in the warehouse. A few months after starting the job, a call came from BF Goodrich, where he spent the rest of his career. During his time at Goodrich, which started out in Akron, he met his future wife, Irene, as she was the secretary who left the local football pool on his desk for the “new sample boy.” Shortly after they were married, during the war, Beck was transferred to Borger, Texas and with a team of chemical engineers, they were given the assignment of building a plant to develop the process for making synthetic rubber, which was in short supply during to the war. After things quieted down, due to the success in Borger, he was transferred to the Avon Lake plant as Plant Manager, where the primary product was PVC plastics. He spent over 25 years of his career there, where he stressed the maintenance of good relationships between management and operators, and was proud of keeping the plant from unionizing during his tenure because of the positive working environment. Beck was very committed to Bay Presbyterian Church, where he was a member for over 50 years and sang in the choir for many years and also served as an Elder for four years. Even with his seemingly full working schedule, where he often took his son in to work with him on Saturdays, he found time to enjoy hobbies of golf (where he had two holes in one), bowling (where he had numerous 700 series and one near-300 game and traveled to the national tournament numerous times to compete in doubles with his son), and stamp and coin collecting, which he also turned into family affairs. He also coached Bay Men’s Club boys baseball teams in Colt and Pony leagues for four years, bringing home two championships.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, in 2010.
He was honored with a story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer for his commitment to visiting his wife every day for 11 years, while she resided in the Bradley Bay Health Center. One of his joys was taking his wife to church at Bradley Bay, sponsored by God Cares Ministry.
Beck is survived by his son, Richard “Rick” Beckmeyer; daughter-in-law, Linda; and grandchildren, Eric and Jennifer.
Friends may call at the Busch Funeral Home, 163 Avon-Belden Road, Avon Lake, Tuesday, November 27, 2012, from 9 A.M. until time of funeral services at 11 A.M. Reverend Bill Goodrich, of God Cares Ministry, will officiate. Burial will follow at Resthaven Memory Gardens, Avon.
Memorials may be forwarded to the Alzheimer’s Association, Cleveland Area Chapter, P.O. Box 74924, Cleveland, OH 44194-4924.