Richard William Beck, Sr.

Air Force Badge
  • Name: Richard William Beck, Sr.
  • Location of Birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Date of Birth: September 12, 1931
  • Date of Death: May 22, 2002 (70 years old)
  • Parents: William L. Beck and Frances (Bridge) Beck
  • High School and Class: 1949 - Grand Rapids High School, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: SSGT (Staff Sergeant)
  • Branch: Air Force
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: 1952
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: 1956
  • Place of Discharge: Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    While serving in the Air Force, Richard worked on B-36 bombers as a sheet metal repairman.

  • Wars Involved:
    Korean Conflict

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Richard worked for Harper's Arrowhead Boat Works in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and Barber-Coleman Company in Rockford, Illinois before enlisting in the Air Force in 1952. He was honorably discharged in 1956 at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota.

    He married Bonnie Gowan on September 12, 1953 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The couple made their home in Rockford, Illinois where Richard worked for Hartzog Aviation and later to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he worked for Schneck Aviation. In 1972, he and his family returned to Grand Rapids, Minnesota where he worked for Blandin Paper Company and Mesabi Aviation until ill health forced his retirement in 1991.

    Throughout the years, he enjoyed fishing, gardening, the outdoors, bird watching and his animals. He served as assistant scoutmaster in Illinois when his sons were in scouting. He was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and was a volunteer with RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

    He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; daughter, Marie (Tim) Purdy; sons Richard "Bill", Jr., Mike (Jan), Jim, and Jerry (Nadine); eight grandchildren; and a brother, James Bridge.

    Buried in Itasca Calvary Cemetery at Grand Rapids, Minnesota. (Plot C-C-25-1-2)

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):