Stanley Victor Beckett
Stanley Victor Beckett was born in Craig on August 15, 1926 to Irving Pierce and Louise Aldinger Beckett. Vic started life as "Little Stanley" until he was in the service and started going by Vic.
He had three older brothers, Arnold, Don and Bob, an older sister, Marie Binder, and a younger sister, Flo Hansen. He had many wonderful childhood memories growing up with six children in the house. He always said his mother was like one of the children, having fun until it came to discipline. His father's example of loving his mother carried through to the way Vic loved his wife.
Vic was ambitious even at a young age. He mowed lawns for 10 cents and delivered the newspaper before school for several years. He also delivered milk for the dairy.
His hero was his older brother, Arnold, whose influence and examples led Vic to make a personal commitment to the Lord. Vic lived every day of his life trying to follow the Bible and doing all that would please God.
When World War II began, Vic's father was called to active duty from the National Guard. Soon after, all his brothers went into the service. His brother, Arnold, was killed in the war, and as soon as Vic graduated from high school, he enlisted in the Navy. After serving for 19 months, he was honorably discharged and came back to Craig.
He went to Colorado State University for a semester, but decided he should be working. He held several different jobs until his father went into a partnership on a ranch northwest of Craig. Eventually, Vic, his father, and his brother, Don, bought out the partners. Vic farmed wheat and raised cattle for 25 years. He enjoyed being a steward of the land, improving the pastures by building reservoirs, developing water sources, cross fencing and brush spraying. He loved ranching and passed his love for working the land to his son, Foster.
Vic's sister, Flo, introduced him to his future wife, Elizabeth Callaway (Betty Wood), a schoolteacher from Georgia. Vic was smitten and pursued her until he won her heart. They married March 15, 1952, and made their home in Craig. Soon after they had their first child, Arnold Frederick (Ricky), who was born with cerebral palsy. Vic and Betty always kept Ricky at home and cared for him. Two years later, they had Ann Elizabeth and then Bettina and finally Stanley Foster. The children learned what true compassion and unconditional love are from Vic and Betty and the way they loved and cared for Ricky and the rest of the family.
Betty's mother, Ruby, moved to Craig after her husband died. She and Vic's mother always tried to make "goodies" for Vic's lunch and he always ate everything so neither would be disappointed. Ruby's pound cake won out and was always Vic's favorite.
After Vic sold the ranch, he sold real estate for a time and then took care of his aging mother, Louise. Vic kept a tractor in town so he could plow snow in the winter. He was always helping people out and seldom charged for it. His family teased him about his fan club of elderly ladies on his list that he plowed out.
Vic was a longtime American Legion member. He helped his father with the Memorial Day service and eventually took over reading the veteran's names, and, with the help of his family, put flags on all the veterans' graves for more than 50 years. This year was the first time he was unable to read the names.
Vic was an active Soil Conservation member while ranching. He also was a First Federal Savings and Loan board member for several years.
Vic was one of the founders of the Last Frontier, a group dedicated to preserving the history of the area. The group has supported museums around Northwest Colorado for the last 20 years.
The country and its founding were very important to Vic. Often he was on his political "soap box" expressing his view about the downward spiral of our government. He encouraged people to take responsibility and vote in every election.
Vic could always be heard singing old hymns, but would only sing in his truck, around the house or for his grandchildren.
His five grandchildren - Sara Elizabeth, Stanley Andrew, Peter Frederick, Hanna Louise and Colby Foster - were the light of his life. Vic put his grandchildren first and was at every activity they were involved in. He was a playmate and played dolls, dinosaurs, school and trucks with all of them.
He had the boys hooked on riding in his 3020 John Deere tractor from a very young age. He kept a pillow in the tractor so when they fell asleep, they would be comfortable. All the grandchildren knew "Papa" was always there for them no matter what. He wrote them letters and notes weekly just to give them encouragement.
He was loved by each and they were always doing something to show him just how much. Vic's children are thankful for the influence and example he was to them and their children.
Vic called and wrote notes to others as well, just to let them know he was thinking of them. Many people have commented to the family how much it meant that he cared enough to let them know he was thinking of them.
Vic's life had order - God first, then his wife and then his children and grandchildren. His desire for all is that they have a personal relationship with the Lord and live life serving Him.
Vic passed away June 18, 2007, after a battle with cancer. Throughout the various health challenges he faced, he always told of the wonderful care he received from the healthcare workers.
He was preceded in death by his wife of almost 50 years, Betty Wood, son Ricky, parents Irving Pierce and Louise, and his three brothers, Arnold, Don and Bob.