SAN ANGELO - Lt. Colonel Lewis Newton Beckham, Retired, 82, of San Angelo passed away Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in Houston.|
Visitation will be held from 6 - 8 p.m. Friday, June 28 in Johnson's Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29 in Immanuel Baptist Church with Rev. Tommy Richardson, Rev. James Mitchell and Rev. David Smith officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow in Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens.
Lewis was born on Aug. 4, 1930 in Savoy, the son of Walter C. and Treva Gist Beckham. He received his schooling in the Willow Springs Community School and the Savoy Schools, graduating from Savoy High School in 1949. He received a bachelor of science degree from East Texas State Teachers College, Commerce, now the Texas A&M University-Commerce, in 1952 and a master of arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado, Greely, Colo., in 1975.
Mr. Beckham was commissioned through the ROTC Program at East Texas Teachers College on May 28, 1952 and began his military career on October 9 of that year. His stateside assignments were Lackland AFB, Texas, Truax Field, Wisconsin, Maxwell AFB, Ala., Charleston AFB, and South Carolina. His overseas tours were Sachon AB, Korea, Clark AB, Philippine Islands, North Atlantic Treaty organization Forces (NATO) Izmir, Turkey and Plieku AB, Republic of Vietnam. He was assigned to Lowry AFB, Colo., on April 1, 1968 as chief administrator of the Air Force Logistic Training School, where he retired on November 1, 1972 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
After a two-year period as a public school teacher in the Aurora, Colo. Public Schools, he returned to Lowry as a civilian employee in January 1975, for a 19-year career in the Logistics and Intelligence Training School and as the base Deputy Chief of Supply. The Base Supply operations at Lowry AFB received the USAF Outstanding Supply Effectiveness Award in both 1988 and 1989. He was the Deputy Chief of Supply of Lowry AFB at the time of the base closure in 1995.
Mr. Beckham's military awards included the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Award Medal, National Defense Service Award Medal, Republic of Korea Service Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was recognized as being among the top 10 percent of the USA Supply Management officers in 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968. As the Lowry AFB Deputy Chief of Supply, he was selected into the Air Force Logistics Civilian Executive Cadre, which represents the top two percent of the USAF Civilian Logistics managers.
Upon completion of forty-two years of Military, Federal, and Community Service, he was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award upon his retirement from Federal Service in April 1994. Some 300 military and civilian personnel were in attendance during retirement ceremony on April 18, 1994.
Lewis married Gwendolyn O'Neill on Sept. 4, 1955 in the Central Baptist Church, San Antonio, after which she accompanied her husband to stateside and overseas assignments in the Philippine Islands, and Izmir, Turkey. Mr. Beckham was a member of AARP, ROA, and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. He served as Deacon, teacher and choir member in the various Baptist Churches.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Kenneth Beckham.
He is survived by his wife, Gwen of the residence; one son, Neill Beckham and his wife Renee of Wichita Falls; two granddaughters, Faith and Emily of Wichita Falls; and one brother, Gerald Beckham of Loveland, Colo.
Memorials may be made to Immanuel Baptist Building Fund,
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Family and friends may sign an online guestbook at johnsons-funeralhome.com.
Published in The Herald Democrat on June 26, 2013