John Beck Sr.

John Beck Sr.

John David Beck Sr., International Falls, Minn., son of Gladys and Karsten Beck, East Grand Forks, Minn., passed away peacefully Wednesday, June 5, 2019. He will be with us forever in our hearts. He was 95 years strong, and was born March 24, 1924, in Grand Forks, N.D.

Preceding John in death were his first wife, Maxine; daughter, Kathy; brother, Karsten; nephew, Kacey; and his parents, Gladys and Karsten.

Surviving him are his wife of 57 years, Beverly; daughter, Valerie; son, John Jr.; daughter, Becky; son, David; son, Peter; his very special niece, Bridget; and many nieces and nephews.

Also surviving John are nine grandchildren — John III, Jeffrey, Justin, Andrew, Jennifer, Mariah, Nathan, Ryan and Karsten. Also five great-grandchildren — Breena, Keegan, Ethan, Milla and Makenna.

John was a great man and an amazing father who loved to spend time with his family at his home on Rainy Lake. He enjoyed the outdoors and had many hobbies including photography, gardening, and genealogy; genealogy especially because his father died too young to leave many memories, and he was very interested in learning as much as he could about his family’s history.

John planted about 100,000 trees on his two tree farms. He lived long enough to see the eventual harvesting of some of the mature trees from each tree farm.

John attended college at University of Minnesota and enjoyed a 47-year career as a forester for Mando and Boise Cascade. John was very appreciative of the education he received from U of M, as he was able to provide for his family for his entire life.

In 2011, John decided that he wanted to show his thanks by donating his body to the university after his death. His remains are with them at this time.

He mentioned many times how happy he was to have worked 47 years at a job he absolutely loved, and how great his co-workers were.


A memorial service celebrating John’s life will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, June 21, at First Lutheran Church, International Falls. A luncheon will follow.

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