Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Roger William Beck

Below is the obituary my father wrote for his father, Roger Beck.

Roger was born January 17, 1935 in Toledo, Ohio, to Rose and Elmer Beck, both of whom were from the Marietta area.  Elmer worked as an entomologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  During World War II, Elmer was reassigned as an Air Raid Warden in Boston.  After the war Elmer's job moved the family to Huxley, Iowa. There Roger graduated from Huxley High School, one of a class of 12.

Roger attended Marietta College from 1952 untill 1956.  In 1955, he married Betty Swartz. They had two children, Stephen William and Elizabeth Susan. From 1956 until 1959 Roger worked as a physicist at the Battelle Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He then moved to General Motors, Delco Radio Division (now Delphi) in Kokomo, Indiana.  While there he did pioneering work in the adaption of semiconductors to automotive systems and he holds several patents.  Choosing a simpler life he left G.M. in 1974 to follow the then popular 'back to the land movement'.  He resettled in the Whipple, Ohio area to farm.  He raised several hundred sheep and goats untill the collapse of that industry from foreign competition. He then began a career in the timber and fire wood business that he would continue untill ill health prevented. It was in the woods that he seemed most at home and spent many years working in and enjoying that environment. He was in the woods, with his saw, a week before his death. As his health worsened  from advanced Parkinson's Disease he chose independence and a simpler life to advanced treatment. He died in his sleep in his own home.

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