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Richard J. Beck

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Richard J. Beck Obituary

Richard "Dick" James Beck

Died peacefully in his home in Indianapolis, on June 15, 2014, at age 87. He was born in Ft. Wayne, IN and grew up in Madison, WI, the son of Herbert and Arabelle Beck. His father was both a pharmacist and engineer, who worked on the pasteurization of milk and his mother introduced distribution and presentation of this to the Madison community.

Dick graduated from Madison West High School, the University of Wisconsin, and did his graduate engineering work at the University of Illinois.

During his high school and college years, he earned an outstanding record as a cross country and distance runner and had a national ranking of fifth fastest miler in the U.S. His devotion to athletics continued throughout his life, well into his 80's.

Dick's memories of his World War II Naval experiences were published in the book, WW II Duty, Honor, Country: The Memories of Those Who Were There.

He met and then married Sarah-Louise (Sally) Bell, 62 years ago in Indianapolis at Trinity Lutheran Church, where he remained a member for many years. In recent years, he was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church.

Dick spent many years as a professor at IUPUI, designing and teaching courses in construction technology. Both he and his wife were voted Outstanding Professors at their universities - Dick in civil engineering and she in psychology.

Dick belonged to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Engineering Education, Kappa Sigma Fraternity, IUPUI Alumni Association, Optimist International (previously), Irvington Dance Club, and Indiana Race Walkers Club.

Dick is survived by his wife, Sally Bell Beck; his brother, Dean Aaron Beck, an attorney in Madison, WI; his sister-in-law, Greta Beck; his five nieces and nephews, Tyler Beck, Allison Hyde, Melissa Iliev, Todd Beck, Christopher Beck, and two cousins-in-law, Diane Shirley and Marsha Reynolds.

Funeral services are planned for Thursday, June 19, at Flanner and Buchanan - Washington Park North . Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with the funeral at 1 p.m. Internment will follow immediately in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Published in the The Indianapolis Star from June 17 to June 18, 2014
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