William J. Becks
Born August 22, 1919 in New York City to Mary (Sullivan) Becks of County Cork Ireland and William Becks of Arnhem, Holland, Bill grew up in Hell's Kitchen and had many stories to tell from that era. He and his sister, Anna "Mary", attended a parochial grammar school and graduated from Textile H.S. Bill worked in the textile business prior to joining the Army in 1942. His WWII days were spent at the 102nd Evacuation Hospital in England. After the war, he came to love California while on assignments at Birmingham Army Hospital, Van Nuys, McCormick Army Hospital, Pasadena and the U.S. Naval Hospital in Corona. Next stop was Great Lakes Naval Hospital where he met Helen Friedman, who he married June 10, 1953 in her hometown of Ogallala, Nebraska (with headlines country girl marries big city boy). They raised two children and shared 58 years of marriage. They travelled extensively around the U.S. and the world, including 2 tours in Germany and stateside posts in Hot Springs, Arkansas and the Presidio in San Francisco. Between Army and civil service, Bill worked for 40 years in medical administration, retiring from the VA Long Beach in 1981. He was a resident of San Pedro from Army retirement in 1966 until moving to Beaumont, California in 2011 after Helen's passing, to be closer to daughter, Alicia and son-in-law, Tim Stirens. He may be remembered in San Pedro as an avid walker who covered many miles around town, marina, pier and lighthouses. He enjoyed being near the ocean for most of his life. He treasured visits home from son, Bill, who lives in Bangkok, Thailand. Other interests have been Brooklyn, later LA Dodgers, horse racing, bowling, his 8-mm home movies, participating as live audience for the filming of many TV programs, dog sitting, playing cards and all the visits with Friedman and Nowak in-laws. Bill passed away peacefully at home on June 24, 2013. Funeral Mass will be Saturday, July 13th at 10 a.m. at Ft. MacArthur Chapel, where Bill had been a long time altar server and lector (bring an i.d. for entry). Bill will be buried alongside his wife, Helen at the National Cemetery in Riverside. Memorials to Fr. Martin, Norbertine Fathers, 2300 N. Taper Ave., San Pedro, CA 90731. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on July 8, 2013