January 5, 2001 is the date on my photos of Uncle William Beck's funeral. William was a unique man with a gravelly voice, a smiling face and a bit of humor in his talk. He was a tall man as all Rueben Lowery's boys were and he had a way about him, an air of importance but not pride. To this day I remember a visit many years ago to Dad's in Sherwood where he was in town for a big meeting in Little Rock. He got on Dad's phone and called someone, and in a not quiet tone, started the conversation with "This is William Beck." Just from the stature and health of his voice, I knew the person on the other end knew this was a man of importance, not to be taken lightly. So now when I call someone, I tell them first who I am.
William did have a special air about him. He was the loudest of the Beck men and as a fact,most of the others where quiet, if not shy. He and all of them all were friendly and would make it a point to speak to us of the younger generation at the family get togethers. William was a teacher of high school as a profession but was most interesting for his hobbies, mostly collecting. I know he saved stamps, bottles, coins, indian relics and was more than an average gardener.
Elise was his wife from youth and also a teacher and I assume in with him on his collecting though I was a bit too young to know or care when my family spent time with them. She died before him thought both were in their elderly years and he married again to a woman of some wealth from a town near his and he moved into her house. He mourned heavily the loss of Elise and his second wife's health failed and she died before him also, leaving William to suffer the curse of the his Mother's sides' longevity gene.
My mind is not clear on exactly what happened to William but I think he fell from a roof and broke his back which gave his last years of living much suffering. Brother Don and I visited him while he was still living in his second wife's house in a small town near DeQueen, Arkansas. We interviewed him on tape about his younger years and about our grandparents and I took some film photographs of him. I am not sure when that was but it could not have been much later that he left the living. He was living with his daughter in Texas at the time his death and probably was relieved to pass on, due to his pain.
His funeral was on a cold January day after a massive ice storm that wreaked havoc on the state. I think I rode there with my folks and Don and his wife Cindy. These photos are the remaining memories of his wake and the family who were there to say goodbye. Our day is coming, make your plans.
This button will take you to the pictures of the day of William's funeral. Marvin, Blanche, Hazel, Lila, and Johnny have died since then. Today is August 1, 2008.