James Henry Beckett, age 81, of Big Lake, went home to be with the Lord on April 13, 2014. Jim was born in Blaine, Washington on June 21, 1932 to Sidney and Alice Beckett.
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Jim's father passed away when Jim was only 4 years old. After his mother remarried, the family moved to Concrete where Jim attended Concrete schools.
He joined the Army and served during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1953.
In 1956 Jim married Ruth Hansen and together they raised their three children. In 1961 Jim built a house for his family near Big Lake, Washington. He resided there with his wife and daughter Sally until his death.
Jim was a real handyman. He could repair almost anything. He was also a very caring and kind person who would go to visit friends and neighbors on a regular basis and help them out when they were in need.
Jim enjoyed camping with his family and attending car shows. He thoroughly enjoyed his two grandchildren, Amy and Andrew, and his great-granddaughter, Faith. Above all he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend.
Besides being in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Jim also worked as a laborer for Skagit County. Later Jim became a member of Labor Union Local 901 in Mount Vernon and worked out of that hall until his retirement. As a laborer Jim's specialty was drilling and dynamiting. One of his accomplishments was being one of the drillers making the tunnels for the North Cascade Highway. He also did tunnel drilling on the Gorge Dam Project, and worked many other dam improvement projects.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ruth, son James E. Beckett and daughter Sally Beckett, all of Big Lake; daughter Linda and husband Clarence Van DerMeulen of Lynden; granddaughter Amy, husband Dan and great-granddaughter Faith Bennett of Nooksack, and grandson, Andrew VanDermeulen also of Nooksack, and Jim is also survived by one sister, Lois Paasche, of La Mesa, California and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents Sidney Becket and Alice Beckett Fox, stepfather Joe Fox, brothers Williams Beckett and George Beckett and half-sister Jackie Hall.
Jim's children thank their Heavenly Father for giving them such a wonderful, loving earthly father.
Jim will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon, WA.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Apr. 22, 2014