We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Clifton Funeral Home
Bill Beck died suddenly at his home near Clifton early Thursday morning, September 2, 2021, in the arms of his beloved wife. The devoted son, loving husband and father, passionate patriot, man of faith and abundant kindness, was 93. Memorial services for Beck will be held on date yet to be determined at First Presbyterian Church, Clifton.
Bill was often known to say, “I’ve had a blessed life.” Family and friends would say his life was a blessing to untold others as well. Wilfred “Bill” C. Beck was born April 5, 1928, in Syracuse, Indiana to Charles and Wilma (Himes) Beck. He was the younger of two children, following his sister Caroline. He graduated from Syracuse High School in 1946 as salutatorian and then attended Indiana University at Bloomington on an academic scholarship. There, he graduated in 1950 with a degree in Business Administration. Before graduation, Bill was accepted into Indiana University School of Law. But those plans came to a halt when Bill was drafted by the Army at the onset of the Korean Conflict in 1950. Thus began an active two years of military service which fostered a lifelong devotion to the recognition of the America veteran.
Beck was initially assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Breckenridge in Kentucky for basic training and Leadership School prior to deployment in Korea. He was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, General MacArthur’s Honor Guard during WWII. Details took him to Inchon in 1951. He served as an Intelligence Specialist with assignments in both Korea and Japan. He helped interpret data and create reports for use by the generals. Beck had opportunities to serve as an officer but declined, preferring to return home and resume the life he’d left before the war. After serving his country for two years, he served another four years with in the Reserves before his final discharge in 1956.
Back stateside, Beck continued his education, eventually earning an MBA from Butler University in Indianapolis. It was there while working days and attending night school that he met an attractive school teacher and artist, Jo Bergin, who lived a floor above him in a large boarding house. They had their first date in September 1959. “It was love at first sight,” both would recall. They were married six months later on March 18, 1960, in Indianapolis. It was a love affair that lasted 62 years and would take the couple and their sons, Brent and Thomas, across the country as Bill advanced in his career. He worked as an insurance claims manager and eventually rose to the position of Vice President of Administrative Corporate Claims for Crum and Forster, a multinational conglomerate on the East coast. His work took him from
Indiana to Atlanta, from Illinois to Dallas and to corporate headquarters in New Jersey. It was there he took early retirement in 1984 and the couple settled in Florida.
Bill and Jo moved to Texas to be closer to family about 1990, first living on their ranch near Blanco. They would eventually settle outside of Clifton in 2003, which has since been home. Bill’s busy life in Bosque County included membership at Clifton’s First Presbyterian Church, where he was an ordained elder. He also served two terms on the Bosque County Appraisal Review Board, was an interim municipal court judge as well as a member of the Texas Municipal Court Association, was an advisory board member of the Bosque Arts Center, a lifetime member of the VFW Post #8553 where he served as Chaplain, and a member of the American Legion Post #322.
Bill loved being active and helping others. Jo said he told her recently he was thinking of completing his law degree at age 93, because he reasoned he finally had the time. Bill was particularly passionate about his work with veteran organizations and the importance of recognizing those who sacrificed for their country. While proud of his own service, Beck considered himself, “one of the lucky ones.” And the blessed life he felt he’d lived prompted a deep desire to help others. His wife said he did more silently behind-the-scenes to mentor and support than even she fully knows. Oldest son Brent said, “He always looked for the good in others.”
Bill Beck is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jo Beck, of Clifton; his two sons, Brent Beck of Rhome, and Tom Beck of Killeen. Other survivors include one grandson and three granddaughters.