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Richard Melthan Beck

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Richard Melthan Beck Obituary
RICHARD MELTHAN BECK, a longtime public servant in California school districts, died on July 22, 2014 at his home in Hemet, California, from complications due to cancer. He was 64. Richard spent the majority of his career planning, developing, and supervising the construction of school facilities. He began his career in public service as a city planner in Los Banos from 1978 to 1984. Between 1984 and 1991, Richard worked as Facilities Planner for Desert Sands Unified School District. In 1991 he began his service to Hemet Unified School District as Director of Facilities, becoming Assistant Superintendent of Business Services in 1994. Among his greatest joys were the new schools that he helped guide from planning to completion. A particular point of pride for Richard was a giant rock at Tahquitz High School that became referred to as "Beck's Boulder." At retirement in 2009, he continued his legacy of public service. He was active in the community, serving as a founding board member of the Western Science Center in Hemet, and on various school district committees. Richard Beck was born September 7, 1949, in San Francisco, California, a city to which he never lost his attachment. He was a lifelong and avid fan of the San Francisco Giants and the 49ers. Richard graduated from Indio High School in 1967, where he excelled in academics and sports. A three sport star in football, basketball, and baseball, he spent a season in minor league baseball before attending college. He earned a Bachelor's in Geography and a Master's of Public Administration from California State University Stanislaus. More than anything, Richard enjoyed making and listening to music with his friends and family. He was an enthusiastic and skilled guitar player, and nothing made him happier than making recordings of his favorite songs with the people that he loved. His passion for music was shared by his wife, Carol, and children, Lewis, John, Lauren, and son-in-law Ryan, who were his most frequent collaborators. He played frequently at local churches, most recently at To Soma. He also enjoyed cooking, gardening, and carpentry. Richard is survived by his wife of 40 years, Carol; his daughter Lauren; his sons Lewis and John, his mother Helen Ellis, his sister Patty Amarante, and his brother Kenn Ellis. He was preceded in death by his sister Barbara Beck in 1978. A memorial service and reception will be held Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 10:00 AM at Community Christian Church, 41762 Stetson Avenue, Hemet.


Published in Press-Enterprise on July 26, 2014
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