William Eugene (Bill) Beckman, age 87, died in Muskogee, Saturday Dec. 9, 2017. Bill was born at the Muskogee Baptist Hospital August 26th, 1930 along with his twin sister, Julia Beckman Cain to Alpha Curtis Beckman and Fred G. Beckman.
Bill grew up in Muskogee and was active in sports, aviation, and Boy Scouts in his youth and college years. In high school he swam under Olympic Coach Ken Treadwell and was named to the Oklahoma All-State Football and Basketball teams. In 1947 Bill was also named to the All-American High School Football squad.
Bill then would attend the University of Oklahoma on a football scholarship majoring in Industrial Engineering where he played end on the University's First National Championship team in 1950. At OU he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. While At OU he would also meet the love of his life Sabina Ambrister through his twin sister Julia who was her Pi Beta Phi roommate. Bill and Sabina were married June 14, 1952 in Pauls Valley at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church.
Immediately thereafter, Bill was commissioned in The United States Army as a Second Lieutenant serving in the Ordnance Corp in Maryland, Alabama, Korea, and would later move to Boeblinger Str. near Stuttgart, Germany to close out his active military service with the rank of Captain. He remained in the Army Reserves for a number of years after his active service.
Bill and Sabina moved back to Muskogee for Bill to join his father in his oil related businesses with Beckman, Incorporated. In 1959-60 Bill broke off and joined forces with friends Jim Askew and Duncan Clark establishing Askew, Clark, and Beckman. There he would hold both his Real Estate Brokers license and his Insurance license.
In 1970 Bill would formally establish The Bill Beckman Company, a full service General Insurance agency in Muskogee. The Beckman Company today is one of Oklahoma's largest insurance agencies. When he first went into his own insurance agency his company model was "Let's keep Muskogee Beautiful", always a lifelong Muskogee supporter! Bill earned his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and wrote many published articles. He would always encourage and help pay for his employees to attend educational seminars and classes for advanced insurance knowledge and designations.
In Muskogee Bill and Bina would raise their family and get involved in business and community affairs. Bill was a lifelong member of the Muskogee Rotary Club, the Muskogee Chamber of Commerce, and the former Sacred Heart Catholic church then transferring to Saint Joseph Catholic Church. Bill served the city on the Muskogee Planning Commission where he closed out as its' Chairman. Bill also served the city on The Muskogee Merit Board. In addition, Bill served the State of Oklahoma by appointments of Governor George Nigh and Governor David Walters to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Board for 11 years. Bill closed out his tenure there as the Chairman in 1992.
September 4th, 1992 was Proclaimed Bill Beckman Day in Oklahoma by Governor David Walters for his service to Oklahoma as he retired from the Board of Corrections.
Bill was a lifelong member of Oklahoma's historical Wauhillau Outing Club on the Barron Fork River near Welling, Oklahoma. Bill's father, Fred built the Beckman cabin with his World War 1 bonus. Bill spent his first birthday with his family at Wauhillau Outing Club. Bill and Sabina raised their children at going to Wauhillau, spending as much of their spare time there as possible. Bill would also serve Wauhillau Outing Club as its President as did his father before him.
In his retirement years, Bill kept busy with a variety of hobbies, travels and business counseling. He was an artist, cook, wood carver, and mentor. He tackled retirement like he did business (with enthusiasm) producing numerous stained-glass ornaments, large and small windows, and other personalized stepping-stones. The Beckman's yard and many of their family and friends' yards are filled and lined with many of his works today. He always took great joy in teaching and sharing with others. In his early retirement years he would come back to the office to consult and endorse the Beckman Company growth throughout Oklahoma.
His parents preceded him in death, as did his older sister, Kathrine Beckman Winniford of McKinney, Texas, and twin sister, Julia Beckman Cain of Oklahoma City.
Sabina Ambrister Beckman, his wife of over sixty-five years, survives him in Muskogee along with their three sons, William E. (Will) Beckman Jr. of Edmond, OK and his wife Sally, Martin Curtis Beckman of Broken Arrow, OK and his wife Donna, and Thomas (Tom) Joseph Beckman of Edmond, OK and his wife Shirley; daughter, Carene Beckman Watts Hobson and her daughter, Keeney from Owensboro, KY; grandchildren and great grandchildren include - William E. (Bill) Beckman III and his wife Suzanne with their children William, Evie, and Alexander; Annette Beckman Barcum and her children Aiden and Addison Barcum; and Lee Curtis Beckman and his wife Desiree and their daughter Gemma; Meredith Beckman Cooper and her husband Collin and their daughter Claire and son Henry; Rachel and Bryan Beckman; Elizabeth, Audrey and Emily Beckman; Joshua Watts and his wife Jesslyn and their children Alexia and Ethan Ballard.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to benefit P.A.W.S., P.O. Box 1525, Muskogee, OK 74402 or the Wauhillau Outing Club, P.O. Box 1286, Muskogee, OK. 74402.
The Beckman Family wishes to Thank Muskogee's Hometown Hospice for the care extended to Bill and the family.
Church Services will be at 10:00 am, Saturday, December 16, 2017 in Muskogee at the St. Joseph Catholic Church located at 323 North Virginia Street. Father Bryan Brooks and Father Richard Cristler will serve as co-celebrants. Graveside services and interment will be in Norman at the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery located on North Porter (Old Hwy 77).
Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 N. York St, Muskogee, OK. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.
Published on December 12, 2017