Ruth Genevieve Beck

Ruth Genevieve Beck, beloved wife of Colonel Donald Macaulay Beck joined her creator February 20, 2015. She died peacefully a month short of her 99th birthday.

Ruth Genevieve Beck was born March 23, 1916 in Montgomery County, Iowa. She was the second youngest of 7 children of John (Johan) Albin Gustavsson Maxell and Anna Wilhelmina Hult Maxell.

She attended the rural Pilot Grove country one room school, Elliott High School and graduated from Red Oak High School in the class of 1933 at the age of 16.

She attended Red Oak Jr. College for one year, the minimum requirement to teach at that time. She taught grades 1-6 for a total of 5 years. The saved income provided enough money to enroll in a second year of college.

In the fall of 1939 Ruth attended Wayne State Teachers College in Wayne, Nebraska. That fall she met her future husband and love of her life Don on a blind date and before the year was out, they were engaged. She continued to teach two more years in Moville, Iowa while Don received his Bachelors of Science degree from the University of South Dakota and entered US Marine Corps Reserve Officers Candidate School in Quantico, VA where he was commissioned Second Lieutenant.

Ruth and Don were married in Mount Olivet Lutheran Church on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1941 in Washington, D.C.

Both shared common roots of strong family, mid America upbringing, lean years and struggles during the great depression and the robust energy that their large families provided.

Ruth was strong in her Christian faith and lived by her values and high principles. As the wife a Marine officer, she nurtured the family and maintained the security and comfort of the home. Her strong values influenced all those around her. She was proud of her husband, her parents, her siblings, her children and her Swedish roots.

Ruth made many friends throughout the family’s military postings in China, California, Indiana, Virginia, Iowa, Hawaii, and Texas. Many times, past friendships were renewed in different locations. She enjoyed the stimulating experience of travel and discovering new places, always maintaining a warm secure home wherever they went.

Attending to basic human needs and suffering of people was a perpetual interest and concern to her. She approached life with optimism and determination. She was forever the teacher helping all of her children with their reading, spelling lists and math. She enjoyed stimulating conversation and discussion of world issues, political editorials and current events. People found her interesting, versatile and caring.

She volunteered her time with low income families to help with planning and budgeting. She enjoyed bridge, ceramics, and later volunteered at her church and delivered Meals on Wheels into her early 80’s. She loved working crossword puzzles.

After the death of her husband in 1993 she made the decision to move from Texas to Lawrence, Kansas October of 2000 to be close to two of her four children.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her sisters Effie Mewhirter, Minnie Maxell, Helen Thomason, brothers Clarence Maxell, Marion Maxell, John Maxell, nephew Thomas Mewhirter and granddaughter Leslie Caroline Beck.

She is survived by her four children Barry (Mary) Beck Midland, TX; Jane (Bo) Harris Lawrence, KS; Mark (Marta) Beck Lansing, KS; Linda (Lon) Paglio Moreland Hills, OH; Grandchildren Keith Beck, Alexis Beck, Toland Hippe, Jessica Harris-Wolking, Hunter Harris, Matthew Beck, Adriane Beck Nada, Vincent Paglio, Daniel Paglio, Stephen Paglio and two sister-in-laws Iona Maxell and Shirley Beck along with eleven great grandchildren and many nephews and nieces. She will forever be remembered in the hearts of her loved ones as a loving wife and wonderful mother.

A service is planned for July 31st 11:00 at the First United Methodist Church in Gregory, SD and burial is in the IOOF Cemetery following the service.