Last week my grandfather passed away, he was 96. It’s taken me this long just to figure out what could be said. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live that long…to have lived almost another lifetime more than others. He was the oldest of my grandparents and yet, he outlived them all by at least 16 years. He lived an incredible story.
I had the honor of writing his obituary, or rather taking what he’d already written and amending it.
William F. Beckmann, 96, passed away Friday, April 8, 2016, at the Veterans’ Home in Oxford, NY. William was born in Brooklyn, NY, December 6, 1919; only child of Frederick and Pauline (Hoegler) Beckmann. He married Mildred McCardell in November 1945, following his service in the Army during WWII. Mildred predeceased William on March 7, 1997.
William served from 1940 to 1946 in both the Pacific and European theaters, where he rose from private to company commander as a first lieutenant after attending Officer Candidate School. He received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and a Presidential Citation. He was a life member of the Veterans Of Foreign Wars, Post 270, Walton, NY, where he served as commander for 9 years. He was also a past member of the American Legion.
William resided most of his life in Ridgewood, Queens, NY, where he worked in the wholesale meat industry (George Korns and Sons) as a meat cutter for 40 years, before retiring with his wife to upstate NY in 1987. Endowed with a keen mind, he was known and respected for his broad topical knowledge, inquisitive nature, and love of puzzles, in particular, difficult crossword puzzles. He was an avid golfer, who shot his age many times. William loved animals, particularly dogs, and always had a pocketful of dog treats for his four-legged friends.
William is survived by his three sons and their families.