Harlan F. Beckemeyer
Louisville - Rev. Dr. Harlan F. Beckemeyer, age 89, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 20, 2020, at Norton Brownsboro Hospital in Louisville, KY. He was born November 30, 1930, to Edwin and Esther (Beckmann) Beckemeyer in Napoleon, MO.
Harlan attended Missouri Valley College, and transferred to the University of Missouri where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. After teaching high school vocational agriculture for 10 years, Harlan heeded the call to ministry. He graduated with a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO, in 1965. Eden awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1992. The day of Harlan's passing was the 55th anniversary of his ordination into the ministry.
Harlan began his career in ministry in the United Church of Christ (UCC) at the Federated Church in Kingfisher, OK. He served as pastor of St. Matthew UCC in Louisville from 1974 to 1994, and was interim pastor at St. Andrew UCC in Louisville in 1995 after his retirement.
Dedicating his life to the service of others, Harlan helped to establish the Shelby Park Neighborhood Association, serving on the board and at one point as president. In addition, he held board positions with Family Health Centers in the Portland neighborhood, Brooklawn (now Uspiritus), and Eden Seminary.
A lover of the outdoors, Harlan enjoyed gardening and regularly fed the birds in his yard. He was an avid reader and relished music - including playing the guitar, singing in choirs, and sharing his strong baritone voice. He attended a ministers' Bible study for decades. Most of all, Harlan loved his family and friends.
Harlan was preceded in death by Ann, his wife of 54 years; a brother, Howard Beckemeyer; and a brother-in-law, Raymond Drecktrah. He is survived by his children, Jim Beckemeyer (Carson) and Ellen Beckemeyer; a brother, Melvin Beckemeyer (Virginia); a sister, Carolyn Drecktrah; a sister-in-law, Eileen Beckemeyer; and a host of cousins and extended family.
Harlan donated his body to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. A celebration of Harlan's life will take place via a pre-taped service on July 9. Visitation will take place via Zoom on a different date. Please contact immediate family members after July 1 for details.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to St. Andrew UCC (2608 Browns Lane, Louisville, KY, 40220); Eden Seminary (http://www.eden.edu
); Family Health Centers (http://www.fhclouisville.org
); or Uspiritus (http://www.bellewoodandbrooklawn.org