Dr. Donald G. Beckman, age 90, died Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at Mercy Hospice of Johnston.
Don was born December 11, 1924 on a farm near Dayton, Iowa, the son of Glenn M. Beckman and Ruby (Anderson) Beckman. Both of his parents were the children of Swedish immigrants. He graduated as valedictorian from Dayton High School in 1942. The first member of his family to attend college, he received his Bachelor's degree in biology from Cornell College in 1947. During his freshman year, he was drafted into WWII and served in the Navy as a medic on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean until the end of the war.
After returning from war to complete his undergraduate studies, he went on to earn a Master's degree in microbiology from the University of Southern California and a Doctor of Optometry degree from the Los Angeles College of Optometry. He returned to Iowa in the late 1950s and earned his medical degree from Des Moines' College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, where he studied to be an Ophthalmologist and an ear, nose, and throat doctor (E.E.N.T.).
After an internship in Denver, Colo., where his daughter Lori was born, and a medical residency in Columbus, Ohio, where his son Jeff was born, Dr. Beckman practiced medicine in Denver, Colorado. He returned to Des Moines in 1965 to join the newly opened Wilden Medical Clinic and practiced there and at Des Moines General Hospital until his retirement in 1989. He was also an assistant professor on the faculty the Des Moines College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery from 1965 - 1970.
Don was married to Kathleen A. Fuller in 1960, who preceded him in death in January. They raised their family in Windsor Heights and he was a 50-year member of Windsor United Methodist Church. After retirement, Don and Kathy enjoyed traveling the world and visiting their grandchildren. He resided in his later years at the Scottish Rite Park retirement center in Des Moines.
He is survived by his daughter, Lori Conway of Dove Canyon, Calif.; son, Jeff Beckman of Lititz, Pa.; and six grandchildren; triplets Kyle, Brenna and Nicole Conway and Conor Conway; and Hanna and Ethan Beckman.
Cremated remains will be interred at the Dayton Family Cemetery. Service will be held at Scottish Rite Park on Saturday, May 9 at 1 p.m. A reception will follow the service. Online condolences may be expressed at www.HamiltonsFuneralHome.com