Peter Steven Beck|
6/3/35 - 2/26/14
Peter was born in Berlin, Germany on June 3, 1935. He lived with his parents in the heart of Berlin. The family was Jewish and they were able to escape Nazi Germany in November 1939 due his father, Luis, being a highly decorated hero of WWI. The family first flew to Genoa, Italy where they boarded a ship to Guayaquil, Ecuador. They had lived in Guayaquil one year when Peter contracted tuberculosis. The tropical climate was bad for the TB and the only place that offered treatment was the United States. They applied for a humanitarian visa and soon were living in New York. Peter was treated and cured at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Peter graduated from the prestigious Stuyvesant High School at age 16 and also became an Eagle Scout. While in high school he worked in New York City's garment district and spent summers working as a NYC Lifeguard at Rockaway Beach near Coney Island.
Upon graduating at age 20 from Syracuse University with a degree in Classical Literature he accepted a commission as a 2nd Lt. in The United States Marine Corps. During his 22 years of service as a Marine Infantry Officer he served in posts and stations all over the world including a three year tour at the Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. where he was a member of the Presidential Honor Guard under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. He met and married his first wife, Sharron, and they produced two wonderful sons, Eric and Paul. Peter saw field service in all three active Marine Divisions, he was the Commander at the Guantanamo Naval Base Guard in Guantanamo, Cuba. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines Regiment and then at headquarters of the 7th Marine Regiment. Peter was decorated four times for valor during the Vietnam War, twice by the United States and twice by the Republic of Vietnam.
His favorite tour of duty was at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA where he met his second wife, Cathie, served as the Director of the Marine Corps Drill Instructors School, the Executive Officer of the 1st Recruit Training Battalion and the Operations Officer of the Recruit Training Regiment.
Electing early retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1978, he received an MBA degree from Pepperdine University in 1980 and went on to hold eight jobs of responsibility as either a director of operations, president of a nationwide trucking company and finally as an owner of a large janitorial services contractor with offices in three major California cities.
He was a proud member of The South End Rowing Club of San Francisco where he swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco and across the Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge as a member of the renegade Sunrisers of the South End Rowing Club, The Marines Memorial Association, The Elks; San Mateo Lodge 1112, the American Legion; Post 0474 in Half Moon Bay, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Marine Corps League, The 1st Marine Division Association, The Monte Cristo Club of San Francisco and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.
Peter is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Dr. Catherine Beck, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, four sons; Eric and wife Corrine of San Diego, CA, Tim and partner Brandi of Concrete, WA, Paul of San Diego, CA, and Don and wife Crystal of Charleston, SC. He also leaves four cherished grandchildren; Justin (16) of Darrington, WA and Jacob (13), Jillian (8) and Elyka (2) of San Diego, CA.
Peter wanted only to be remembered as a good man who loved life and enjoyed the friendships and comradeships that his life on earth allowed him and as one who held a special place for dogs and cats.
There will be a private scattering of ashes at sea on March 9, 2014. Following there will be a Celebration of Peter's life at the South End Rowing Club, 500 Jefferson, San Francisco. The Celebration begins at 10 A. M.
Peter requested that donations in his honor may be made to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd. Suite 102, Pendeleton Marine Base, Oceanside, CA 92055-5193, www.SemperFiFund.org
Semper Fidelis . . . Always Faithful