Brian E. Beckley|
April 2, 1930 - April 26, 2013
Brian Ewing Beckley, age 83, passed away on April 26, 2013 at MidMichigan Medical Center Gratiot in Alma, MI.
Brian was born on April 2, 1930 in Amble, Montcalm County, MI to Clifford and Marguerite Northon Beckley. He spent his early years on the family farm. In 1943 the family moved to Petoskey, MI. There he graduated from high school and went on to attend the University of Michigan, Central Michigan College of Education and Colorado State College of Education. As a youth and young man he enjoyed sports and playing in the band.
He began his teaching career in Alma, MI in 1953. After military service he spent three years teaching in Petoskey, MI. He spent a total of five years in the U. S. Naval Reserves and the U. S. Army. In 1959 he returned to Alma, MI as principal of Hillcrest Elementary School. He continued in Alma as a teacher and administrator until his retirement in 1988.
After retirement he was an active community volunteer. He spent several years on the Salvation Army Board and the Alma Public Library Board. He worked for the Commission on Aging by delivering Meals On Wheels in Alma for 22 years. He had been a volunteer and member of the board for Habitat for Humanity and the Gratiot Historical Society. He was a member of Masonic Lodge No. 244 and also belonged to the MidMichigan Medical Center Gratiot Auxiliary and the American Red Cross. He was also an active member in the First Presbyterian Church and enjoyed singing in the choir.
He married Barbara Anne Norcross in 1958. She preceded him in death in 1968. In 1970 he married Bona Lou MacLaren Miller at the First Presbyterian Church in Alma.
Favorite things in his life were spending summers at their Bay View, MI cottage and family gatherings with the grandchildren. He and his wife also enjoyed traveling during the winter months to different parts of the U.S. and they had traveled to Ireland and Scotland.
Surviving are his wife, Bona Lou; son, Owen (Tracy) Beckley of Batavia, IL; daughters, Ellen (Steve) Liestenfeltz of Perry, MI, Cammy Lou Phillips of Jenison, MI; and six grandchildren, Alexina Beckley, Ian Beckley, Bradley Liestenfeltz, Kelsey Phillips, Kyler Phillips and Kameron Phillips. Also surviving are his brother, Roger (Jean) Beckley of Harbor Springs, MI; brother-in-law, Delos (Sharon) MacLaren of Lake Isabella, MI; and sister-in-law, Barbara Ann (Richard) Pharr of Ithaca, MI; brother-in-law, Robert (Peggy) Norcross of Portage, MI and sister-in-law, Marilyn (Ralph) Boodt of Kalamazoo and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws and a sister, Joanne Beckley.
Family Visitation will be held at the Dewey Funeral Home in Alma on Friday, May 10th from 6 to 8 p.m. with a Memorial Service on Saturday, May, 11th at the First Presbyterian Church, Alma at 1 p.m. with Reverend Tom Brackbill officiating. Memorial gifts may be made to the Brian & Bona Beckley Donor Advised Fund of the Gratiot County Community Foundation. The family is being served by the Dewey Funeral Home of Alma.
Published in The Morning Sun on Apr. 29, 2013