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Richard "Dick" Keith Beckman

June 24, 1931 ~ March 7, 2024 (age 92) 92 Years Old

Richard "Dick" Beckman Obituary

Richard "Dick" Keith Beckman, 92, of Eau Claire, WI passed away peacefully on March 7, 2024 of natural causes.

Dick was born on June 24, 1931, the only child of Margaret Gudrun née Musum and Earl Clayton Beckman. His father was a member of the United States Navy (WWII) and as a result, the family moved frequently during Dick’s early years. After Earl’s time in the service, the family settled back in Eau Claire, WI.

In 1951, Dick enlisted in the United States Navy. After his schooling in VA, he served as a Navy photographer, taking photos at proving grounds as bombs were detonated and tested (at times a bit too close for comfort). Upon his honorable discharge in 1953, Dick returned to WI and attended Stout State University (University of Wisconsin Stout) in Menomonie, studying Industrial Education with a concentration in Woods and English. He graduated with both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science, majoring in Audio-Visual and graduating with highest honors. Dick and Luanne Milward were married in 1954.

Dick started his first teaching position in 1958 at Mankato State College, where he taught audio-visual education and photography courses. Later that same year, their first daughter Susan was born. In 1961, they welcomed their second daughter, Linda into their lives. Also in 1961, Dr. Leonard Haas offered Dick a position at what was then known as the Wisconsin State College at Eau Claire, whereupon Dick’s legacy at the school began. Dr. Haas became an influential mentor and friend to Dick throughout his time working at the University. Dr. Haas credited Dick as an important part of developments that would change the name to Wisconsin State University at Eau Claire and later to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Under Dick’s leadership, the audio-visual department grew in size from just himself and a single student employee, into the Media Development Center (MDC), with a staff of 23 and a nearly equal number of student employees. The work environment was a unique place – a photo darkroom, drafting tables, a moveable type printing press, artists and countless creative people. They developed instructional materials and numerous publications and presentations of slide shows that showcased the beauty and effectiveness of the University to thousands of people. Dick’s readiness to be of help to anyone in need was consistent throughout his 29 years at the University. Dick was an empathetic listener, living by example the true value of kindness, always quick to give credit to those around him for their contributions. He and his staff became a close-knit group, often enjoying each other’s company outside of work. They ran, picnicked, cross-country skied and worked on innumerable projects together. Many of these friendships remain strong today. Dick especially wanted to recognize and thank his good friends from MDC: Bob Fuller, Roger Kees, Bert Spangler, Norm Card, and Rich Dirks.

In addition to the many involvements he had at the University, Dick served on the Board of Directors of Luther Park Bible Camp, served on the Board of Directors for Grace Lutheran Foundation; and volunteered for National Lutheran Youth Conventions.

At age 49, Dick began running. Over the rest of his life, he ran in 13 marathons in addition to many shorter races; skied in 19 cross country competitions (including 6 Birkebeiners and 7 Kortelopets); and participated in many bike races, triathlons and in-line skate events.

Anyone who knew Dick knew that he loved cars - owning, caring for, and kicking the tires of many, many, vehicles throughout his life! Upon his retirement in June of 1990, RV travel would become the next mode of transport for the adventures of Dick & Luanne. Winters were spent in Tucson, AZ, where an entire new group of friends was cultivated. Dick enjoyed working at the Voyager woodshop and became one of its supervisors and instructors. His enthusiastic passion for fine woodworking made up a huge part of his life – he has crafted everything from jewelry boxes, cabinets, coffee tables, benches, lamps, and picture frames, to much larger projects, such as building a family home.

Over the course of the last 30 years, he was deeply indebted to his cardiac doctor, Dr. Daniel Kincaid, for keeping his heart running smoothly enabling him to continue enjoying the activities which he so loved. In his final days, Dick wished to express again his utmost appreciation and respect to Dr. Kincaid.

Dick is survived by his wife of 70 years, Luanne Beckman (Eau Claire, WI); 2 daughters, Sue Booth (Ann Arbor, MI) and Linda Beckman (Bellingham, WA); grandson, Corey Booth (Ann Arbor, MI); many nieces and nephews; and of course, Bruiser the Bear. He was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret & Earl Beckman. Dick was deeply loved by his family and friends - his sense of humor and wit, easy-going attitude, and humble, caring personality will be greatly and forever missed. He made an indelible impression on each person he ever met.

A memorial service will take place at 2:00pm, on Friday, May 10, 2024 at Grace Lutheran Church, 202 W. Grand Ave, Eau Claire, with Dr. Rev. Philip Ruge-Jones officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral & Cremation Services, Eau Claire is assisting the family. Online condolences may be shared at www.lenmarkfh.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to:

Daniel and Kerry Kincaid Pre-Medicine Scholarship - UWEC Foundation To Donate: https://blugolds.uwec.edu/give/514270/#!/donation/checkout Enter “Kincaid” into “What would you like your donation to support?” Click on Daniel and Kerry Kincaid Pre-Medicine Scholarship (0328)

Luther Park Bible Camp To Donate: https://lutherpark.org/ways-to-give

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Services

Visitation
Friday
May 10, 2024

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Grace Lutheran Church
202 West Grand Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54703

Memorial Service
Friday
May 10, 2024

2:00 PM
Grace Lutheran Church
202 West Grand Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54703

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