Murray, UT - In the early morning hours of March 7, 2014, our beloved father, grandfather and great-father slipped away peacefully, just an hour after the birth of his twin great-granddaughters , namesake Ellie Jo and Sasha Claire. He loved to be one of the first to hold his newborn grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so once he knew they had left their heavenly home to begin their life on earth and were safely in the arms of their parents, he slipped quietly away.
Joe was born in Spring City, Utah on January 10, 1922 to Joseph Ishmael and Mabel Lucinda Black Beck. He attended school in Spring City and graduated from North Sanpete High. He attended Snow College and the University of Utah.
Joe enlisted in the Army on March 19, 1943, during World War II. On Nov. 4, 1943 he sailed for England after spending time in California and Georgia. He was trained to be a cryptographer. The highlight of that duty was when he received and decoded the incoming message that Germany had surrendered and the war was over. He was sent to France following the Normandy Invasion. Later his unit moved on to Munich, Germany where he entered the Dachau Prison Camp 3 days after it was liberated by the US Forces. During that time he was assigned Grave Registration duties. After the war ended, he returned to the US and arrived in New York on his birthday after serving 3 years overseas. During the Korean Conflict he was stationed in California and New Mexico. He returned to Utah and spent the remaining years in the Utah Air National Guard. He retired in 1978 after spending 34 years in the service of his country, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Joe married his eternal companion, Marjorie Nielsen of Mt. Pleasant, Utah, on August 5, 1942. Marjorie passed away on July 25, 2009, just 11 days prior to their 67th wedding anniversary. They spent the majority of their married life in Murray, Utah, first on Montrose then moving into their new home on Knollcrest in 1954. Joe was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and served in many callings and offered countless hours of service including 22 years as a temple worker at the Jordan River Temple. Joe and Marge were called as temple workers in 1981 and retired as Dad's health began to fail in 2003.
Joe loved carpentry and wood work and built many beautiful pieces of furniture as well as doing construction on many of the homes on Knollcrest. He loved to hunt, fish and play golf. Joe was an avid fan of college basketball, especially BYU, the Utah Jazz and football.
During their time at the temple, Joe and Marge combined their love of travel and being with friends to create Celestial Tours with friends, Hal and Mary Rindlesbacher and Ken and June Johnson. They traveled to Palm Springs, Branson, Missouri, numerous Alaskan cruises and to many of the LDS church historical sites, temples and pageants.
Joe is survived by his daughters, Kathie (Zach) Fassman of Phoenix, AZ and Karen (Dale) Stokes of South Jordan, UT.; grandchildren, Robbie (Claire) Murray, Robyn Murray, Matthew Murray all of Phoenix, AZ., Ryan Murray of Salt Lake City, UT, Joshua Fassman of Las Vegas, NV, Jason (Suzanne) Stokes of Riverton, UT, Emily (Shane) Beech of Herriman, UT, Holly (Richard) Naylor of Bluffdale, UT.; 12 great-grandchildren and sister-in-law, Noreen Beck of St. George, UT. Preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie; great-grandson, Nolan Murray; brother, Lewis Reid Beck; sisters, Ida Stubbs and Dora Arnoldsen.
Funeral services will be held at the Murray Park Ward, 435 E. 5600 So, Murray, Utah on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 11:00 am. Friends and Family may visit Tuesday, March 11, 2014 from 6-8 pm at Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary, 4760 South State Street in Murray or one hour prior to the funeral services at the church. Interment will be at Murray City Cemetery. The family would like to thank Jamie, Tui, Natalie and all the staff at Garden Terrace for the tender loving care provided to our father and to Hospice for Utah for the compassionate and professional service they provided in the last days of Dad's life.
Online condolences may be shared at www.jenkins-soffe.com.
Published in Deseret News on Mar. 9, 2014