CHATSWORTH — Tom Beck, 83, formerly of Chatsworth, passed away on May 26, 2011, in his residence in Ocala, Fla.
Master Sgt. Thomas A. Beck was buried June 1 at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla., with full military honors and a 21-gun slaute.
Tom was born Thomas Andrew Beck on Oct. 12, 1927, in Chatsworth, the oldest of three sons born to Stircow and Ersie Piercy Beck. He also had five sisters. He attended elementary schools in Chatsworth and graduated from Chatsworth Township High School in the class of 1946.
Tom was first employed by his father, Stircow Beck, a contractor and builder in the Chatsworth, Strawn and Piper City areas. He then became a general contractor under his own name in the Chatsworth and Piper City areas from 1956 to 1975. He specialized in new home construction, new kitchens and farm buildings. More than 20 structures in the area bear his signature.
He became a career military officer in the U.S. Army. He first served in the Korean conflict from 1951 to 1952 and received the Purple Heart for a wound sustained in battle. He served as an adviser with the U.S. Army in the war in Vietnam from 1962 to 1968. He achieved the rank of master sergeant, the highest rank for a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. From 1975 to 1987, he was employed by the United States government. He finally retired in 1987. He lived in the Geneva and Rochelle areas until he moved to Ocala, Fla., in 2004.
Tom is survived by Carol Clark Beck, his wife of 55 years; two sons, Allan Anthony and Mark Andrew, both of Ocala, Fla.; a granddaughter, Candice Anderson; and two brothers, William G. Beck, Colfax, and John Robert Beck, Midland, Ga.; and 20 nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers-in-law; and his five sisters, Virginia Beck, Blanche Lane, Janette Curtis, Corinne Cavanaugh and Gwen Evans.