Obituary Record

John Thomas Beck
Died on 3/1/2015
Buried in Blair Cemetery

Posted on line: Thursday, March 12, 2015; Published in The Pilot Tribune, Tuesday, March 17, 2015

(Veteran Flag)

John T. Beck, 85

John T. Beck, 85, of Colorado Springs, Colo., formerly of Fremont and Blair, died March 1, 2015, in Colorado Springs.

A memorial service was March 6 at first Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs. A service is planned on June 17 at First Lutheran Church in Blair with inurnment in the Blair Cemetery.

He was born July 5, 1929, to Marcus and Agnes (Lund) Beck.

He served as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy and reached the rank of captain.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia “Ginny” (Lippincott) Beck; sons: John T. Beck II and wife Julie, Eric Beck and wife Kerry; daughter Barbara and husband Don Meduna; grandchildren: Dana, Erica, John L. and Maria.; great-grandchildren: Tyler, Jacob and Aiden; brother Marcus and wife Peggy Beck; numerous nieces, nephews and brothers- and sisters-in-law.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Patricia Beck Salchow.

#2 Funeral Leaflet

John Thomas Beck, 85, of Blair, NE, died Sunday, March 1st 2015 in Colorado Springs, CO with his family by his side. His cause of death was acute leukemia secondary to Agent Orange exposure during his service in Vietnam. He was the youngest son of the late Marcus and Agnes Beck, also residents of Washington County, NE. John’s older brother Marcus lives in Kansas City, KS and his younger sister Patricia Salchow is deceased.

John is survived by his wife Virginia (Lippincott) Beck; son John Beck II and his wife Julie of Colorado Springs, CO; daughter Barbara Meduna and her husband Don of Colorado Springs, CO, and son Eric Beck and his wife Kerry of Twentynine Palms, CA; He is also survived by four grandchildren, Dana Tucker and her husband Mike of Colorado Springs, CO; Erica Leu and her husband Aaron of Austin, Texas; John Louis Beck of Fremont, Nebraska and Maria Beck of Omaha, Nebraska. John and Virginia also have three great-grandchildren: Tyler, Jacob and Aiden living in Austin, TX and Colorado Springs, CO.

Early on, John attended local schools in Blair. His family relocated to Fremont, Nebraska where he graduated from Fremont High School in 1945. Following graduation he returned to Blair and enrolled at Dana College where he first met Virginia. At age 18, after completing a semester at Dana College, he left Washington County to "see the world", joining the Army and serving in Korea as a surveyor before the war. After serving 18 months, he returned to Blair, and completed his college education at Dana College, graduating in 1950. John and Virginia were married a few months later in July of 1950.

The newlyweds moved to Norfolk, Nebraska, where John taught high school history, English and Spanish. In 1952, John was called to the ministry, and he and Virginia returned to Blair, where he enrolled in Trinity College Seminary, associated with Dana College.

In 1955, John was ordained at First Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska, and received his commission as a Navy Chaplain, and he and Virginia both left to "see the world." Over the next 20 years, he unselfishly served his country, spreading God's word and comforting both Sailors and Marines throughout the world. In 1970, he was sent to Vietnam and worked as a staff officer with the Marines in charge of helping our Marines understand the Vietnamese people and their culture. He received a Bronze Star for his work there. In 1975, he retired from the Navy with the rank of Captain and returned to civilian life.

He continued his ministry serving as St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Chula Vista, California. In 1978, he was called to work at Dana College in church relations and returned to Blair. During those years, he also served as interim pastor at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska, and as a part-time visitation pastor at First Lutheran in Blair. He also spent many hours volunteering at Boys Town in Omaha. In 2011, John and Virginia relocated to Colorado Springs to be near two of their three children. John continued his humanitarian ministry, volunteering for his church, ringing the bell at Christmastime for the Salvation Army and serving meals to the elderly. He was motivated to help mankind, and dedicated to the Lord's work.

In his day-to-day life, John loved recreational games and was very competitive in nature. It began with playing marbles as a child, and then ping pong and bowling, as well as a good game of poker or Monopoly. John also enjoyed collecting stamps from all over the world, and spending quality time with his family. A loving family man, John was both sensitive and caring to Virginia, his children, grandchildren and extended family. He is deeply missed by all who knew him.

A memorial service was March 6 at First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs. A service is planned on June 17 at First Lutheran Church in Blair, with burial of cremains in the Blair Cemetery.

Graveside services will be held at 9:30 am on Wednesday, June 17, at Blair Cemetery with full military honors followed by a 10:30 memorial at First Lutheran Church in Blair. In honor of John's service and for those who have served our country, his family has asked that memorial donations be sent to the Wounded Warriors Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675, or to the Danish American Archives and Library (DAAL) in Blair.

Memorial Service for John T. Beck, Sr. First Lutheran Church, Blair, NE June 17, 2015. Processional: “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”. Scripture Readings Psalm 121, I Peter 1:3-5 Janice Lippincott. Solo: “Eternal Father Strong to Save”. Obituary. Time of Remembrance: Mike Jones. Recessional: “How Great Thou Art” Officiating: Pastor Pam Ciulla. Organist: Clare Cowing. Soloist: Kelvin Grasz

Friends and relatives are invited to the Fellowship Hall for lunch following the services.

~~~ Obituary and funeral leaflet courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings and leaflets on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~

FindaGrave # 143300642

Printed in the Washington County Pilot-Tribune on 3/17/2015