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F.w. Beckwith


1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
F.W. Beckwith

Boone - F.W. Beckwith, best known as Bill, passed away in his Boone, Iowa home on July 30, 2018. He was born the youngest of four children to Paul S. and MaryEllen Beckwith in Diller, Nebraska on May 14, 1927.

Beckwith believed in sustainability and resourcefulness, qualities that led to the continued success of Fareway Stores, Inc., the Iowa based company that his father, Paul S. Beckwith, pioneered with partner Fred Vitt in 1938. Beckwith grew up learning the grocery business alongside his Dad while serving customers and sweeping floors. However, he left his own mark on the company with his innovative design of the Fareway warehouse and distribution center. This project modernized the company's approach to maintain an efficient system that would lead to savings for the loyal Fareway customer.

After serving in the US NAVY during WWII, Beckwith returned to Iowa where he worked his way up through the family business as assistant manager, manager, and supervisor. In 1981, he was elected president of Fareway and added chief executive officer to his role in 1985. He worked his way up to the top as chairman of the board until his retirement in 2010. He remained a stockholder to maintain his father's vision of a company that provided opportunity for all people, emphasizing a Manager's autonomy to build their own legacy within the success of the Fareway family.

Bill Beckwith believed the generosity of communities across the State of Iowa were instrumental in Fareway's success. As an avid philanthropist he, with his wife Jodie, were proud to give back to the growth and development of organizations such as Camp Courageous and other Iowa based educational programs.

Upon his retirement, Beckwith traded in his Fareway tie for his old boots and jeans to continue his stump grinding hobby, moving trees, fishing, and driving his John Deere Gator. He was active in the Boone community, a member of the VFW, American Legion, and First Presbyterian Church of Boone.

Beckwith encouraged his family to contribute their natural talents to both Fareway and their community, and they have done so with zealous and grace. Beckwith is survived by his wife of 12 years, Jodie Beckwith; two daughters; Dr. Paula Sue Beckwith and Dr. Mary Kristine Moore (David); a son, Paul James Beckwith; stepchildren, Mark Almquist, (Debbie), Alexandra Longanecker de Lazcano (Javier), Samantha Wilen, and Race Wilen; grandchildren, Harry Moore and Aaron Moore; step-grandchildren, Amy Almquist and Andy Almquist; Several great- grandchildren, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Paul S. Beckwith and MaryEllen Line Beckwith; his sisters, PauLine Cramer and EvaLine Wiltse; and one brother, Richard D. Beckwith.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Camp Courageous. Bill was known to say flowers last only a day or two, but an investment in education and hard work lasts a lifetime.

Per Bill's request, there will be no visitation or public funeral service.

Schroeder-Stark-Welin Funeral Home, 609 Seventh Street, Boone, IA.
Published in Des Moines Register on Aug. 2, 2018
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