Former Craig resident Marthella Beck died Oct. 23, 2004, at Eagle Cliff Manor in Billings, Mont. She was 89.
Marthella Willis was born Aug. 3, 1915, in Henrieville, Utah to John and Rachel Ella Willis, the oldest of eight children. Seven of the children grew to adulthood. An infant brother, Henry Bradford, died in March 1920 at 4 months old.
In 1921, the family moved to Junction, Utah, where her father did farming. He later was employed by the U.S. Biological Survey. In July 1933, he was transferred to Vernal with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife services as a government trapper. After completing school in Vernal, Beck moved to Oakland, Calif., where she worked for several years as a housekeeper for families she knew there. Her sisters Rita and Glenna spent some time with her while she lived there during World War II. When she returned from California, Beck worked with her parents, who at the time were running the Macedona Lodge in western Colorado. It was there in 1948 where she met her husband, Linnie Beck. He was a truck driver for Stantons Transportation Company. He enjoyed stopping at the lodge for a good meal during his trips hauling gilsonite from the mine from Bonanza to Craig. After they were married, they moved to Casper, Wyo., in 1949, where Stantons had opened a branch. They returned to Craig in the late 1950s where they raised their family.
Marthella Beck was a gifted cook and spent many years working in restaurants in Craig as a cook. Among them were Easley's Cafe, The Galveston Restaurant and many years at the M&M Cafe. She shared a love of the outdoors with her husband and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping with family and friends. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many positions in the Primary, Sunday School and Relief Society auxiliaries there. Beck was proud of her heritage and had a great love for her ancestors, her parents and her younger brothers and sisters.
Beck is survived by her sons, John (Kaye) of Thornton, and Dale (Judy) of Billings, Mont.; brothers, Maynard J. Willis of Montrose, and Dale H. Willis, of Salt Lake City; sisters Rita Forbis of Horse Cave, Ky., Ovid (Eldon) Luck of Vernal, Glenna (Elmer) Meadows, and Mary (Wallace) Lauchnor of Salt Lake City; grandchildren Cortney Miner of Powell, Wyo., Kimberlee Beck of Kearns, Kristi (Beck) Dickinson, and Justin Beck of Billings; four step-grandchildren; 13 great- grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Beck was preceded in death by her infant brother Henry, her parents John and Ella, and her husband, Linnie, on Nov. 15, 2001.
Services were Oct. 28, 2004, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Craig, with Bishop Brian Herring officiating. Soloist Paulette Bird was accompanied by pianist Myrna Ence. Selections were "How Great Thou Art" and "Amazing Grace."
A special piano solo, "I Believe in Christ," was performed by Kimberly Beck.
Dale Beck gave the eulogy. Speakers were Lewis Livingston and John Beck.
Pallbearers were John Beck, Dale Beck, Justin Beck, Tony Willis, John Willis, and Doug Moore. Interment was in the Hayden Cemetery with dedication of the grave by Bob Trevenen.
Marthella will be remembered as a hard worker and a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, and friend. She had a great sense of humor and her smile and the twinkle in her eye will long be remembered by all those who knew her and loved her. We will miss you but know you are in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.