Royce E. Beckett Davenport, Iowa Died on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12th, 2012 St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 2400 Middle Road, Bettendorf, Iowa
5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12th, 2012 St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 2400 Middle Road, Bettendorf, Iowa
Royce Beckett, 89, of Davenport, Iowa, died Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at Trinity Bettendorf. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held from 4-5:30 PM Thursday, July 12th at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 2400 Middle Road, Bettendorf, IA, with a memorial service at 5:30 PM. The family is also planning a celebration of life at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn, Alabama, where he was member for over 30 years. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be made to the National Park Foundation (www.nationalparks.org) or to Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org)
Royce Beckett was born May 31, 1923, the eldest of six, in Hinch, Missouri. He graduated from high school in Bourbon, Missouri in 1940 and was the first in his family to attend college.
Royce was accepted into the Navy's V-12 Officer in Training program and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1944. He went to Midshipman School at Colombia University in New York City. After receiving his commission, he was sent to US Navy Japanese/Oriental Language School in Boulder, Colorado. He was posted to Guam at the end of World War II.
He earned an MS in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 1950 from the University of Illinois and his doctoral degree in engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. In 1953 he joined the University of Iowa as an assistant professor. From 1960-67 he served as Professor and Director of Solid Mechanics in the Mechanics and Hydraulics Department. While at Iowa, Royce met and married Shirley Needham in 1954.
In 1967, Royce began a 10-year assignment with the Rock Island Arsenal serving as the Director of the Rodman Laboratory and Technical Advisor to the Commander.
In 1977, Royce returned to academics as the Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Auburn University.
Royce retired from Auburn University in 1993 at the age of 70. He had a long and distinguished career. He took a personal interest in his students and cared deeply about their success. Throughout his career, Royce and Shirley provided his international students a home away from home. Recently, former students have established scholarships in his name at both the University of Iowa and Auburn University.
Royce loved photography and enjoyed taking movies and slides of family vacations and holidays. Several of his pictures won local awards. He loved to travel. Favorite destinations were national parks where he could combine his love of the outdoors and photography. He was an avid rose gardener, tending nearly 100 bushes in his Auburn garden.
Royce was active in his church and community. He coached 6 years of Little League and Babe Ruth baseball, served as President of the Bettendorf School Board, and was the informal event photographer for every organization he belonged to. Royce and Shirley taught several courses for the Auburn University lifelong learning program and helped found the Auburn Food Bank.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley; daughters, Susan (Laurie Haag) of Iowa City, IA and Barb (Doyle) Harris of Davenport; son, Scott (Kim) Beckett of Jacksonville, AL; grandchildren, Trasi (Mark) Crowley, Kim (Shawn) Parr, Bryan Harris and Clay Beckett; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Norma (Clarence) Brouk of St. Louis, MO and Bonnie Pennock of Bourbon, MO; brothers, Lindy Beckett of Lathrop, MO and Dale Beckett of Bourbon, MO. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Vera Halsey.
He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
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Weerts Funeral Home - 3625 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport, Iowa 52807 tel. 563.355.4433