The Rev. Ward F. DeBeck|
November 12, 1913 - March 9, 2014
The Reverend Ward F. DeBeck passed away Sunday, March 9, 2014, at the age of 100.
Ward was born in Vancouver, British Columbia (B.C.) on November 12, 1913. He was the 3rd of 7 children born to Edwin Keary and Maria Ann Foster DeBeck. He attended school in Vancouver, eventually graduating from the University of British Columbia in 1938. Ward went on to graduate from the Anglican Theological College of British Columbia in 1941. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1941.
Rev. DeBeck was in charge of a small congregation in Vancouver before being asked to go to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to be the assistant at St. John Cathedral in Santurce. From there he returned to Canada where he served as a chaplain in the Royal Canadian Navy, stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was there that he met his future wife, Marion Whebby. They were married on October 8, 1945.
In 1945, Ward was transferred to Victoria, B.C. It was here his 1st son, Bruce, was born. Rev. DeBeck went on to serve in parishes in Ellensburg and Spokane Washington then La Jolla, Downey, Coronado, and finally, Hacienda Heights California. Ward and Marion had 3 more sons along the way, Peter, Erik, and Keary. Rev. DeBeck retired in 1979 and moved to Salem to be near his aged aunt.
Ward had an attachment to Salem dating back to his childhood. His aunt and uncle, Edna and Thomas Livesley, were the builders of what is now called Mahonia Hall, the Governor's Mansion. Ward spent time in the mansion as a child.
Rev. DeBeck was active in St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salem until his age made him slow down. Ward had also been a member of the Rotary Club, joining while assigned to a parish in Downey, CA. He maintained a perfect attendance for nearly 50 years.
Marion passed away on March 6, 2005. Ward is survived by his 4 sons, Bruce, Peter, Erik, and Keary as well as 3 grandchildren, James, Edwin, and Cassandra, and 2 great-grandchildren Christina and RylieAnn.
The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Ward's name to the Willamette Lutheran Home in Keizer, Oregon.
Memorial Services will be at 1pm Saturday at St Paul's Episcopal Church. Arrangements by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
Published in StatesmanJournal on Mar. 13, 2014