Peaceful 10

Byron K. Beck

July 26, 1940 ~ June 20, 2019 (age 78)
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Byron K. Beck, age 78, died June 20, 2019 at Genesis East Hospital in Davenport. His funeral service will be at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Rock Island, on Saturday, June 29 at 10:00, with visitation at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home in Rock Island from 4:00 to 6:00 on Friday, June 28. Burial will be at Chippiannock Cemetery in Rock Island. Those who wish to make a memorial gift are invited to contribute to the Byron Beck Scholarship Fund through the Black Hawk College Foundation.

Byron was born in Alton, Illinois on July 26, 1940 to John and Ruth (Bryan) Beck and grew up in Bethalto, Illinois. He graduated from University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and then earned his Master’s Degree from Stanford University before beginning his career as a history professor at Black Hawk College. There he met Dorothy White, an English/Philosophy instructor from Boston. They were married at Sacred Heart Church in Moline on December 27, 1972. In the following years they raised their children (Amanda and Adam) and continued teaching at Black Hawk, merging their interests to develop a course in comparative religions which they were delighted to offer together for over thirty years.

Byron’s interests were wide-ranging, but he had two main lifelong pursuits. First was history, a personal and professional interest he explored through his love of reading and with travel throughout this country and overseas. His second passion was family. His fascination with genealogy began as a child and continued to grow throughout his life, and his discovery of provided him with ever-widening avenues of exploration in his retirement. But he took greatest delight in his own family, regarding the responsibilities of fatherhood with anxiety and delight as his children grew into their own distinct personalities and began their own families - Adam with Heather (Pieper) Beck, and Amanda with Marc Lauterbach.

Byron was active in many community organizations and was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rock Island where he enjoyed singing with Dorothy and friends in the choir and reading scripture in his resonant bass voice. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and by infant twin brothers, Jack and Gene.

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