Donald M. Beck
July 5, 1930 - May 17, 2021
Tacoma, Washington - Donald "Don' Myron Beck passed away peacefully on Monday, May 17, 2021 at Tacoma General Hospital at the age of 90.
Graveside services will be held on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Mountain View Memorial Park (4100 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, WA 98499). A memorial service will be held at Fircrest United Methodist Church (1018 Columbia Avenue, Fircrest, WA 98466) at 2:00 p.m. the same day. Both services will be live streamed on the Internet.
Don was born on Bainbridge Island, WA. on July 5, 1930, the son of Vernon and Otilie "Tillie' Beck. He was the youngest of three children, along with his older sisters Verna and Doris. Growing up during the depression was difficult; finding after school jobs at age 13, outhouses, and Sears & Roebuck catalogue pages for toilet paper were often used. This hard working ethic and saving was the basis of his youth and into his adulthood during both vocation and advocation.
Don graduated from Bainbridge Island High School and enlisted in the US Army after graduation. He was recalled to duty at the outset of the Korean War; fortunately, he remained stateside, serving functionally as a Drill Sergeant (but without the rank and pay). During his time in the Army, Don met an attractive young woman from Tacoma. After courting for many months, both in person and by correspondence (while Don was stationed at Fort Ord, California), he married Grace L. Keys on August 22, 1952.
After his discharge from the Army, Don worked for a time at the U.S. Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA, where he encountered asbestos dust that was the catalyst for mesothelioma, the illness that caused his passing. Concerned about his health conditions working in the shipyard, his wife, Grace urged him to return to school.
Following coursework at Tacoma Community College and Bates Vocational School, he began training as a technical draftsman and subsequently was hired by the Tacoma Public Utilities (Water Department) as a draftsman. He was an integral part of many design teams upgrading and extending Tacoma's drinking water supply system. He was later promoted to Local Improvement District representative, where he was to convince homeowners on septic systems to connect to Tacoma's sewer system as it expanded. Don's retirement from the Utilities was on May 31, 1991 after 36 years of service.
In 1961, Don and Grace built their home in Fircrest and raised their two sons, Erik and Neil. This is where he established and built many lifelong cherished friendships. Grace passed away untimely on November 10, 1978. Don never remarried, focusing on work, hobbies and raising his boys as a single parent in their sports and endeavors.
Don was a long-time member and active participant of the Fircrest United Methodist Church, his commanding, eloquent voice often led him to reading scriptures and singing in the choir, where he built many strong and long-lasting friendships. He was a member of the Elks in Tacoma for many years; it served as a great family outing for dinner, bowling, and swimming.
He enjoyed camping, fishing, clam digging, hiking, as well as Bowling for many years as a young adult and was on up to five leagues at one time with a 220 average. As a boy in school, he played football and baseball, later as an adult trying golf on company outings but realized his limitations.
Don was an avid football fan, holding season tickets to the University of Washington Huskies for 58 consecutive years. His enjoyment of golf grew strongly after attending the US Open at Chambers Bay in 2015 and looked forward to watching it each week over his weekly breakfast outings with his son Neil.
His health, travel, and self-care were important to him; he enjoyed being at the YMCA, walking at the Mall, and keeping up on good diet & dietary supplements. He enjoyed traveling and was fortunate to go with his son to company trips throughout the world; he especially liked zip lining in Costa Rica.
He will be greatly missed by his sons Erik and Neil; his two grandchildren, Maire Grace Geoghegan and Ryan Geoghegan; several nieces, nephews, friends, and former colleagues. He loved well and was well loved by everyone he was around. Often, he would say, "Remember to smile, it increases your face value."
Further details on the services can be found at: https://www.mountainviewtacoma.com/obituaries/Donald-Beck-15/
Family suggests donations to be made to the Clothing Closet at the Fircrest United Methodist Church (See address above), supported by Donald for 25 years. Donations in Don's name would be greatly appreciated and used for their "Back to School" Clothing Event.
Published by News Tribune (Tacoma) on May 30, 2021.