Charles Rilling Beckman
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Charles Rilling Beckman died at home on November 15, 2011 with his wife at his side as she had been for 61 years. He was born on September 1, 1925 in Erie, son of the late Grover Cleveland and Mae Rilling Beckman. He was a 1943 graduate of Strong Vincent High School and a 1949 graduate of Parks Air College of St. Louis University. He served in the United States Army Air Force from 1944 until 1946. He was a member of the Tyrian Commonwealth Lodge No. 362 F.&A. M., Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Erie, Zem Zem Temple Shrine. Chuck will be remembered most for his love of his family. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother. He built his life around the needs and enjoyment of his wife and their family. He was well known for his commitment to his employees and his community. He will also be remembered for his humility, his generosity, his citizenship, his leadership and his faith. He was the father who served the plates at the dinner table and encouraged his children to engage in lively and sometimes challenging conversation. Chuck held a lifelong interest in aviation and American history. He was particularly interested in the Civil War and was a local expert on its history. Family vacations often included a trip to American colonial history sites, Civil War battlefields, or an aviation museum. He possessed a quick wit and a wonderful sense of humor that was never at the personal expense of others. His blue eyes twinkled and his smile broadened when he talked about his family. Sunday afternoon, Chuck could often be found sitting in his leather chair reading a book about politics or history, taking a drive through Fairview and Girard remembering stories about his family, or engaged in conversation with his mother and kids. He was loving, trustworthy, forgiving, honest, slow to anger, and quick to lend a helping hand. His children remember him as the father who taught them life's most important lessons through his example. He spent most of his professional career with The Erie Ceramic Arts Company, a family business where he worked with his father-in-law, the late H. Eric Schabacker, his late brother-in-law, Robert B. Schabacker, and two of his children. He knew each of the employees by name, respected them and appreciated their constant contribution to the company. He retired after 41 years of service as the Chairman and CEO. He is remembered as being very ethical in his business leadership, demonstrating through his personal leadership and example that it is always necessary to pay attention to both the means and the ends when making decisions and planning. Throughout his business career, Mr. Beckman was an active leader in business and community groups. He was a strong supporter of ACES (Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System) and was named the 1986 ACES Man of the Year. He was a past board member and president of the Manufacturers' Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania. He was a very active member of the Rotary Club of Erie where he was a past president, Paul Harris Fellow and long-time member of the Rotary Scholarship Committee. He was a faithful member of the Sarah Hearn Memorial Presbyterian Church for many years where he served as an elder and recently of New Hope Presbyterian Church. He was a past board member of the YMCA and the Erie County Historical Society. Chuck was a founding member of CAME (Christian Associates of Metropolitan Erie) and then Inter-Church Ministries of Erie County. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Schabacker Beckman; their seven children, Jean C. Beckman and her partner Helen Templeton of Evansville, Ind.; Eric C. Beckman and his wife Patricia of Hillsdale, Mich.; Atty. Barbara R. Beckman and her husband Joseph Flanagan of Conshohocken, Pa.; Rev. Margaret A. Beckman and her partner Christy Stout of Dedham, Maine; Sarah J. Krueger and her husband James of Omaha, Neb.; Harriet E. Beckman and her husband Brad White of Erie, Pa.; and Atty. Mary A. Beckman and her partner Michele Garvin of Milton, Mass. He enjoyed 10 grandchildren: John, Carolyn, Jennifer, Michael, David and Joseph Beckman, Molly and David Flanagan, and Daniel and Olivia Krueger, and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Stevenson, of Denver, Colo. and many nieces, nephews and friends. Friends may call at the Burton Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 602 West 10th Street, on Sunday Nov. 20th from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and are invited to attend a funeral service on Monday at 11 a.m. at New Hope Presbyterian Church, 5440 Washington Ave., Erie, PA 16509 with The Reverend Charles McClung officiating. Interment in Girard Cemetery will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to New Hope Presbyterian Church, the American Cancer Society, 2115 W. 38th St., Erie, PA 16508 or a charity of your choice. Online condolences can be posted at

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Published in Erie Times-News from Nov. 17 to Nov. 18, 2011.
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Memories & Condolences
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13 entries
December 5, 2011
To the Beckman family.
Expressing sympathy is always difficult, but all we can say is how sorry we are.
May the comfort of family and friends be your strength for today and the days ahead.
Jan and Ernie Hughes
November 25, 2011
To all the Beckman family, I am so sorry for the loss of your father/husband and was sad to learn of that loss while we were out of the country. Please accept our sincere sympathies, however belated. He was a kind and gentle man.
Greg & Sue Tower
November 22, 2011
To the Beckman Family, our deepest sympathy on the loss of your father. Frank always spoke highly of Chuck, said he always had a smile on his face. Frank enjoyed his many years at ECA and the people he worked with. Theresa Simonelli and daughters, Lynn, Julie and Debbie
November 21, 2011
Margaret and Family, Very sorry about your Dad's passing, the life story in the paper was oh so true, I remember having dinner and it seemed like the longest one ever for me, a great memory. My prayers are with you.
Deb Rensel
November 20, 2011
The staff of American Cancer Fund at is sorry to hear of Mr. Beckman's passing. We have receive memorial contributions in his name and our sincere condolences go out to his family.
S Lerer
November 20, 2011
Harriet, Brad and Beckman Family,
Our deepest sympathies to all of you at this difficult time. Much love to all.
Chuck & Lorre White
November 19, 2011
To the Beckman family;
I never met Mr. Beckman, but his daughter, Jean, is an important member of my family - and is the wonderful person she is partly through being his daughter. In reading his obituary, I wish there were many more people like him in the business world, as he certainly taught by his example.
My thoughts and prayers are sent for all of you in this difficult time.
Janet Templeton-Heise
November 18, 2011
So sorry for your loss. An ECA employee.
Roxie Jurkovic
November 18, 2011
Lee, Eric, Margaret and family,

We extend our sympathy to you. Chuck was a wonderful and highly ethical man who managed the company the right way - always thinking first of the employees who worked there. His many good deeds ( for employees and the community) done behind the scenes with no fanfare or recognition were his trademark.

The associates of Heatron Erie (formerly part of Erie Ceramic Arts) will observe a moment of silence today in rememberence of our beloved Chuck and his contributions that have allowed us to be in business today.

God bless,
Bob Martter
And the Associates of Heatron Erie
Bob Martter
November 17, 2011
Brad, Harriet & family,
Please accept our condolences at the passing of your father. We understand how hard it can be but just keep your fondest memories close to your heart .
With sympathy,
Jerry & Chris White
Chris White
November 17, 2011
The Valley of Erie Scottish Rite extends our sympathy to the family of Brother Beckman. He will be missed. We offer the Scottish Rite motto as comfort: "SPES MEA IN DEO EST" (my hope is in God).
Richard B. Elberfeld, Jr. Valley Secretary
November 17, 2011
Dear Mrs. Beckman,
Our family is sorry to hear of Mr. Beckman's passing. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. We fondly remember our wonderful conversations and times with him at Sarah Hearn. May you feel God's blessing knowing he's with our Savior.

Denis, Lori, Bradley and Emily Jacobson
November 17, 2011
Harriet - I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. Remember, life has only changed for your father - it has not ended. He will be with you always...
Ron Onslow
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