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Archie Beckett

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Archie Beckett Obituary
Archie Roy Beckett passed away peacefully at his home on April 20, 2012 at the age of 85. He was born on March 6, 1927 to Harry "Colorado" Beckett and Antonia "Tonia" Ruiz Beckett in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was the youngest and last surviving of his four siblings; Herman, Mary, Mike, and Laura. They grew up at the family homestead on Compress Road, between the Santa Fe Railroad tracks and the Masonic Cemetery. Archie's final resting place will be at the family burial plot, just 100 yards from where he grew up. Archie attended public school in Las Cruces, starting with Central School and then Las Cruces Union High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II serving his country with his brothers Herman and Mike. He returned to Las Cruces after the war, and attended New Mexico A&M College which he often stated was "mostly aggies and engineers in those days". Upon graduating in 1951 with a mechanical engineering degree, Archie went to work for Phillips Petroleum in Borger, Texas. There is where he met his future wife, Mary Louise Lindley. They fell in love and were married on August 30, 1952 and quickly setup up household and family. Archie and Mary had four children; Karen, Harry, Archie Jr., and Mark Beckett. After living in Texas, Oklahoma, and California, the Mary and Archie, "Mariarchi" Becketts, returned to Las Cruces in 1959 where he worked as an engineer at White Sands Missile Range. They lived in the original family homestead on Compress Road until 1966 and then moved north of town near the Three Crosses. Archie joined the mission to put a man on the moon in 1965 when he went to work for NASA at the White Sands Test Facility. After four challenging years of trials and tribulation, his personal triumph was realized in July 1969 when Neil Armstrong stepped out from the lunar module and on to Tranquility Base. Archie often recalled that reaching the moon was one of the greatest achievements in human history, and he was thankful and proud having contributed to it. He worked many more distinguished years through the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs until his retirement from NASA in 1978. After his retirement, he followed new work pursuits in homebuilding, solar home design, and consulting for Lockheed until 1998. Archie truly loved his family and community. His family was his treasure and he made sure they always had fun together. He also loved many circles of friends where they enjoyed countless hours over the years playing bridge, pitching horseshoes, RV touring, attending NMSU Aggie basketball and Mayfield Trojan football games. Archie brought humor and humility to his family and friends and was often seen as the life of the party. Archie and Mary have actively worshiped at the First Presbyterian Church of Las Cruces for over 50 years. During that time, they have shown true dedication to the church family, participated in numerous ministries, and have enjoyed many enduring friendships. He loved Las Cruces which captured his heart throughout his life. He traveled widely as well as to every corner of New Mexico, but always returned to speak of the majesty of the Organ Mountains, the spectacular beauty of the desert sunsets, and the world-famous Mexican cuisine. "There is no better place to live on Earth", he often said. It was from this passion that in May of 1995, Archie founded the Las Cruces Oral History Club, where storytellers get together on a periodic basis to recall and record local stories and history of Las Cruces and the region. The Oral History Club brought back tremendous memories and was a great joy for Archie and its members as they recounted the richness of growing up in the Mesilla Valley. Archie is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Mary Beckett of Las Cruces NM; four children, Karen Alvarez and Glenn McCain of El Paso TX, Harry Beckett and wife Jane of Springfield, MO, Archie Beckett Jr. and wife Dani of Katy, TX, and Mark Beckett and wife Louise of Fort Collins, CO; 12 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, 11 nephews and nieces, and 25 great nephews and nieces. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mesilla Valley Hospice or First Presbyterian Church. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 25, 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Getz Funeral Home in Las Cruces, corner of Solano and Bowman Ave. There will be a celebration of Archie's life with a memorial service and reception at the First Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Boutz Road on Thursday, April 26 at 11:00 am. Internment will be a private graveside service at the Masonic Cemetery. Arrangements by Getz Funeral Home corner of Solano and Bowman Ave., Las Cruces, NM 526-2419. To sign the local online guest book go to www.GetzCares.com
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Apr. 24, 2012
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