William J. Beck, Sr.
June 24, 1926 – April 10, 2014
William J Beck Sr., age 87, passed away quietly Thursday morning April 10, 2014 with his family at his side. A lifelong resident of Delaware City, Delaware, he was affectionately known to many as “Uncle Bill.”
Born in Lakeworth, FL on June 24, 1926, Bill was the son of the late Clark N. Beck and Elizabeth Swan Beck. He attended Delaware City School and graduated from Brown Vocational High School in Wilmington. In his early career, he worked at Trans World Airlines when it was housed at the Wilmington Airport, owned and operated a Gulf gas station and had a Lance Cracker Company delivery route. The majority of his career was spent with the Wilmington News-Journal Company where he worked in the paper’s circulation department for 36 years, retiring in 1988.
Over the years he devoted his time and talents to his community, serving as a Delaware City town constable, city tax collector, member of the Delaware City Building and Loan, the Gunning Bedford School District School Board, and the Delaware City Cemetery Association. He was a lifelong member of the Delaware City Ebenezer United Methodist Church. The church was constructed on land donated by his great grandfather, who also helped build the facility.
He was a Freemason and a member of the AF & AM Jackson Lodge No. 19 in Delaware City. In addition to his masonic duties, he also helped his community as a Shriner for many years.
He was a hard-working and diligent man who enjoyed numerous hobbies, especially gardening – which brought him great joy. He liked growing and sharing his favorites, including tomatoes, lima beans, rutabagas, blueberries and corn.
He was a familiar sight on his daily walks to the post office, his Friday morning shopping trips at the New Castle Farmers Market and other regular destinations in his community. Until his recent illnesses, he kept close ties with many friends and neighbors, including a group of News Journal retirees with whom he gathered once a week for a number of years at various diners and restaurants in the New Castle area.
He was a quiet, confident friendly man whose general appearance resembled that of a man Norman Rockwell would have included in one of his paintings. Bill will be dearly missed.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife of over 50 years, Betty Jane Beck, who passed away in 1998; brother, Edward; and his 4 sisters, Harriett, Ada, Dorothy and Margaret. He is survived by his son, Lieutenant Colonel, USA (RET) William J Beck, Jr; daughter-in-law, Stephanie; 2 grandchildren, Ryan and Alexandra “Alex” (all of Dallas, GA); and many, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A visitation will be from 5 pm until 7 pm on Friday evening, April 18, 2014, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 214 Clinton Street, Delaware City, DE. A service celebrating Bill’s life will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday morning, April 19, 2014 at the Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 309 Clinton Street, Delaware City, DE 19706. Interment will follow in the Delaware City Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Ebenezer United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ebenezer United Methodist Church, at the address listed above.