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William Beckham


Memorial service for The Right Reverend William A. Beckham, 78, will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, with committal service to follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cange, Haiti, Fund of the Diocese of Upper S. C., or to York Place, the S. C. Episcopal Church Home for Children.

Bishop Beckham, husband of Harriet Wingate Beckham and retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, died Saturday, December 24, 2005. Born in Columbia, he was the son of the late Francis Morgan and Maud Guthrie Beckham. A graduate of the University of South Carolina and Virginia Theological Seminary, Bishop Beckham was ordained to the priesthood in 1955, and he served parishes in Edgefield, Union, and Greenwood prior to being named Archdeacon of the diocese in 1964. He was elected and consecrated as Bishop in 1979, and served in that position until his retirement in 1994. Bishop Beckham also served the Episcopal Church at the national level, as trustee and chair of the Church Pension Fund, in New York from 1991 until 1997.

A U. S. Navy veteran of World War II, he served aboard the battleship U. S. S. Iowa in the Pacific theatre 1943-1945.

Surviving are his wife of 57 years; a son and daughter-in-law, William A. Beckham Jr. and Jeanie Beckham; son, Stephen Andrew Beckham; and daughter, Catherine Louise Beckham. He is also survived by seven grandchildren who loved and will greatly miss their "Papa". Bishop Beckham was predeceased by his son, Robert Michael Beckham; brother, Francis Morgan Beckham; sisters, Elizabeth Beckham Wofford, Daisy Zeiders and Mabel Beckham Mundell; and brother, Louis Beckham, DVM.

Published in The Greenville News on Dec. 27, 2005
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