William G. (Bill) Beck, 71, died in the company of family at Matthew House in Auburn, N.Y., on July 13, 2011, after a yearlong bout with pancreatic cancer.
Born in Fargo, N.D., on April 8, 1940, Bill lived in Walla Walla in his youth and moved to Sheridan, Wyo., in 1958. As a young man, Bill was a dedicated skier, swimmer, runner, and Eagle Scout. He graduated from St. Patrick's High School in Walla Walla and Sheridan Junior College. While a member of the Wyoming National Guard, he was drafted and served briefly in the U.S. Army. In the late 1950s and early '60s in the winter, he helped plow Red Grade up to the Little Bear Ski Area. He moved to Central, N.Y., in 1964 to pursue a romance with his soon-to-be wife, Joan, who served as a lay volunteer for Sheridan's
Holy Name Catholic Church in 1962. Bill graduated from Syracuse University with a business degree. From 1974 to 1999, he and his wife owned a farm and garden store known as Groton Agway in Groton, N.Y.
For many years, he served as treasurer of the Groton Boy Scouts and treasurer of the Groton Rotary Club. Additionally, he was a member of the Groton Men's Club at St. Anthony's Church. Later, he worked in
Lowes' seasonal and nursery departments in Auburn, N.Y., and provided landscaping services to residents on Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes.
Bill was a member of St. Alphonsus Church and the Knights of Columbus in Auburn. He was well known for his tireless work ethic and effervescent smile.
He is survived by his wife, Joan of Auburn, N.Y.; his daughter, Christina of Redlands, Colo.; his son, Scott; two granddaughters of Statesboro, Ga.; and his sister, Sara Wise of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Reuben and Jean, who owned Big Horn Granite Works in Sheridan; and his younger brother, Chuck, who had moved from Sheridan to live in Groton, N.Y.
Memorial contributions are welcome to Matthew House (43 Metcalf Dr., Auburn, NY 13021) and Hospice of the Finger Lakes (1130 Corporate
Dr., Auburn, NY 13021).