Frank Beck

Frank R. Beck of Boulder, CO passed away peacefully at Manor Care in Boulder. He was preceded in death by his sister Betty, and his mother Maurine. Well known and loved by many in the Boulder area, his friends remember his great sense of humor, a love for the natural world and the huge smile with which he greeted everyone. Frank was preceded in death by his sister Betty and his mother Maurine. He is survived by Kathy Waldrop, a devoted life-long friend who Frank referred to as his “surrogate daughter.” Kathy accepted responsibility for Frank 's well-being years ago, remembers him fondly, and continues to act on his behalf.
Born in Indianapolis, Frank 's family also lived in Chicago, Arkansas and Texas before returning to Indianapolis. After discovering his dislike for Engineering studies at Purdue University, Frank enlisted in the Army at a new base in Campbell, KY (now Fort Campbell). Frank was assigned to assist in the darkroom for the base photographer named Walt Disney. After technical training at Lowry Field he was shipped to many ports including New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. In Sylhet India, Frank was a part of the 98th Airborne Squadron servicing DC3s (C-47s) which were hauling supplies to both British and American forces fighting the Japanese in Burma. They air supplied the British and “Merrill's Marauders”, (A United States Army long range penetration special operations jungle warfare unit which fought in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II, “flying over the hump”). Later, Frank was transferred to a B-24 outfit in India, and then on to Dakar. He was sent to Tezpur, India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, until the end of the war. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
Frank later was admitted to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque where he double-majored in Geology and Anthropology in order to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming an Egyptologist. He graduated in 1951. He then registered in the Geology Department at the University of Colorado for graduate work. While teaching geology and mineralogy at (now Lamar State University) in Beaumont TX Frank discovered a new mineral called chambersite.
In the following years Frank was involved in mapping Rocky Mountain National Park. He taught geology and mineralogy in Colorado, Brazil, Texas and Arizona. He became a world traveler and noted photographer. Many residents of the Boulder area have enjoyed the presentations of his various worldwide and local excursions. Frank donated hundreds of slides depicting the geology, wildlife and plant life of the Front Range to the City of Boulder Mountain Parks which are still in use today. He enjoyed volunteering and leading nature hikes for the Parks department. In the 1990‘s Frank received a “Monday Morning Rose” from the Boulder Daily Camera for all of his good works.
In recent years Frank became a donor to and friend of “the Elephant Sanctuary” in Tennessee. If you'd like to make a donation in Frank 's name please go to www.elephants.com


Published in www.dailycamera.com/ on Sept. 29, 2013