Billy R. Beck(1928 - 2014)

Billy R. Beck

Billy R. Beck, 85, of Sioux Falls, passed peacefully Friday, April 18, 2014 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, after a long illness.

Billy was born August 18, 1928 in Sioux Falls, SD to Ray A. and Julia E. (Potter) Beck. He grew up in Sioux Falls where he received his education, having attended Mark Twain Elementary School then graduating from Washington High School in 1946. He attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls before transferring to South Dakota State College in Brookings. He received his B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering from SDSC in 1951.

On November 9, 1951, he was united in marriage with Vivian B. Larson at Viborg, SD. That same year, he entered military service and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1951 until receiving his honorable discharge in 1953.

In 1954, he began working at Egger Steel. In 1957, he began his career with Fritzel, Kroeger, Griffin and Berg, a firm for which he worked until 1986. After that, He was a partner in Holman-Beck for three years, before opening his own structural engineering firm, Billy R. Beck, P.E. in 1989. He did engineering work until the age of 81, in 2010. During his career, he was a member of the South Dakota Engineering Society, Southeast Chapter. He was president of that organization in 1972. One of his career highlights was his involvement in the creation of the Washington Pavilion. This was meaningful to him because when he attended Washington High, his father Ray Beck was principal.

Other memberships include Asbury United Methodist Church, and the Junior Chamber of Commerce where he was part of the creation of Dennis the Menace Park in Sioux Falls. Billy was also a longtime member of Downtown Kiwanis of Sioux Falls, joining in 1968, serving as president of the club in 1982, and chosen as Kiwanian of the year in 1993. He had a passion for radio-control model aviation, beginning in 1974, and was active in both the Sioux Falls RCers and Dakota Flyers clubs.

He was preceded in death by his brother Charles and wife Vi.

Grateful for having shared his life are his children, Lori L. (Mike) Mowbray of Eden Prairie, MN, Steven T. Beck (Linda Clement) of Sioux Falls, SD and Barry Beck (Jessica Kohen) of Minneapolis, MN. He had two grandchildren.

Funeral services will begin 2:00 pm Wednesday at Asbury United Methodist Church. Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 to 7:00 pm Tuesday at Miller Funeral Home, Main Avenue location.

The family requests that memorials be directed to the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science.


Funeral Home

Miller Funeral Home - Downtown
507 South Main Avenue Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 336-2640

Published in The Argus Leader on Apr. 20, 2014