William J. Beck, Sr. - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

William J. Beck, Sr.

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.


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22 Condolences for William J. Beck, Sr.

  • J and Family,

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. It is very hard losing a parent. You and your family are in my prayers as you go through this most difficult time.

    Gayle Weatherford Panter
    (NGC Classmate)

  • You were a great person and a good friend. You will be missed.

  • Sorry for Your Loss. Praying for You and Your Family.

  • We are sorry for your loss. Bill was a very kind and sweet man, we were blessed to have known him.

  • Sincerest condolences to the Beck, Bridgewater, Lenhoff, and Neel families. Uncle Bill was a wonderful man with a caring heart for all people he met. He will be sorely missed here on Earth, but Heaven gains one of the best angels!!

  • What a beautiful memorial. I pray for the comfort and strength for all of the family. J take comfort in our Lord with whom your Dad now resides.

  • Through his adoring great niece, Leslie Neel, I have heard many entertaining stories of this man, whom I did not have the pleasure of actually meeting. send sincere condolences to the family.

  • Hope to be there. My thoughts are with you all.

  • To Bill’s family…
    We are so sorry for your loss. Bill was such a great co-worker and friend. He will truly be missed.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Jack and Karen Outten

  • Jay and Family,
    We want to send our condolences to let you know that we have lost a very dear friend. We will
    sadly miss seeing Bill on our visits to Delaware City. He would always tell us about you and your
    lovely family. We would reminiscence about our good times in Delaware City and then about the
    visits at our home in Florida with your Dad and Mother. God Bless you all.

  • Jay and Family,

    I had the pleasure of working with your father at the News Journal. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. He was very soft spoken and was respectful of everyone. I remember him as a calming presence in some of the most stressful situations. I remember well how proud he was of you and your wife and children. His face always lit up when he talked about all of you. Please accept my deepest condolences and be assured of my thoughts and prayers for all of you.

  • So sorry to hear of the loss of your dear loved one. I too have experienced that deep pain of loss. So, I look for ways to comfort others. I hope that you may find comfort in Job 14:14,15, which assures us that Almighty God has not only the power, but the desire to resurrect our dear loved ones.

  • Jay and Family,

    I cannot begin to understand what you must be going through right now, but I send my condolences, and I promise to pray for your entire family. Keep the faith.

    Jay a quote that my mom always makes mention to me whenever I see her…titled “THE MEASURE OF A MAN: Not – “how did he die” But – “how did he live” Not – “what did he gain” But – “what did he give” These are the units to measure the worth of a man, as a man, Regardless of birth”

  • so sorry to hear of bills passing. my thoughts are with you!

  • Lesli and Patrick Neil, Alice and Family, From my whole family. We are very sorry for the loss of your Uncle Bill. Although we never had the pleasure of meeting Uncle Bill, We have enjoyed his Delicious recipe’s through Leslie. Who would talk about Uncle bill and his great recipes throughout the many years of my friendship with Leslie and her son Patrick. Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your whole Family during this unfortunate and difficult time. All our Love.

  • Sorry to hear of Bill’s passing,he was truly liked by many people.

  • Dear Uncle Bill,

    I enjoyed the many times we had together in my brief time knowing you (15 years), I think there was 6 visits in all. From our trip from Maine to Delaware City and my first time having “Scrapple” – You put grape jelly on it… boy it was good. The trips around Delaware to the Longemire Gardens, and DuPont heritage sites. Down State to the Capitol. So many memories, So many Good Times. Oh, and the stories.

    Thank You for taking care of my Dear Carol, making her one of yours. You were one of those Uncles you never forget and are sorry to lose. We know you have been preparing for this journey to see your Lord and Savior for a life time. May you rest in peace in His loving arms.

    In Christian Love,
    Les Olsen (WHN)

  • My Dear Uncle Bill:
    Words cannot express how much I will miss your presence in my life. You have ALWAYS been there! My dear Mom’s only “Brother”, we shared so many wonderful times, when apart, as well as the too-rare times together. Hour long telephone calls sharing, caring, laughing – giving me your wise counsel, sharing our love of the Lord Jesus with encouragement and prayer. Wonderful letters and cards! Your steadfast, confident, enduring Faith and the knowledge that one day we would spend eternity together with our loved ones in Christ. Singing for services at Ebenezer, where Mom grew up too! So special. So many wonderful memories, Thank you so much for everything, including sharing your wonderful family with me and making me feel a part of you all. Say hello to Mom & Dad and Aunt Betty for me! I’ll be seeing you!
    Love, Always,

  • J, Stephanie, Ryan and Alex,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad, grandfather and father in law was a wonderful man. He was always kind and welcoming to whomever he met. I know this is a difficult time for you, but you have wonderful memories of him and your mom. I hope these memories will help you get through the difficult days ahead. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Kathy McCoy

  • So sorry for the loss of a very kind, sweet, endearing man. I remember Mr. Beck from church in Del. City–He and Mrs. Beck always sat in the pew in front of us –he would always visit with us and genuinely wanted to know how things were going. Such a loss of a good man on this earth but heaven is gaining such an angel. My condolences to your family, Jay.

  • To family and friends of Bill Beck,

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Bill’s gentle and powerful presence was instrumental in the church body, but even more importantly, his kindness with individuals was a balm that soothes the soul. His cardiac discipline is an inspiration to me and I enjoyed sharing notes with him.

    I’m in Florida helping my daughter, but my thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate his life and relationships. The fruits of his labor here on earth are everlasting, and I treasure memories of soup and sweet potato rolls, along with images of his garden. Bill was a good guy…one who always made folks feel better having spent time with him.

    God is so very good to us, as reflected in Bill’s devotion. All honor, glory, and praise to the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    I am faithfully yours in Christ,
    Pastor Linda Bennett

  • You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. “Mr. Beck” as I always called him was such a good neighbor and will surly be missed. He used to tell me stories every time I stopped to talk when he was out in his yard.