George A. Beck, 94, of Fairmont Road, Chicora, passed away peacefully, Tuesday morning, March 3, 2020 at Butler Memorial Hospital.
George was born in Karns City on June 28, 1925, the son of the late John A. and Elva Frazier Beck. Mr. Beck attended Karns City Fairview Twp. High School leaving early to enroll at Allegheny College and enlist in the United States Navy. Upon entering officer’s training school, he earned the rank of Ensign, and served in the Pacific theater of operations during WWII. He was a member of the Underwater Demolition Team, which later became known as the US Navy Seals. Following WWII, George returned to Allegheny College, and earned a degree in Chemical Engineering. He entered into the family business, the Pennsylvania Refining Company in Karns City, which was established by his grandfather in 1878. In 1948 he became plant manager, a position he retained until his retirement in 1975. The refinery produced the “Penn Drake” brand and remains in operation today.
Mr. Beck was a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chicora. He served many years on church council. Following the merger of the local Lutheran Churches, he served as co-chair of the building committee during Holy Trinity’s construction. Mr. Beck was a longtime director on the Karns City Area School Board, and was a charter member of the Ridgeview Country Club. George was a passionate golfer, and in his golfing tenure had two holes-in-one; the latest at age 77. George was proud of his voting record, receiving an award for voting in every election for 70 consecutive years. He was an accomplished gardener and bridge player. He was an avid reader, and had great ability to retain everything he read. Even in his later years, Mr. Beck embraced technology, having "Alexa" read to him. Following his retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Beck became "world-travelers", traveling to Europe, Africa, South America, and Australia They enjoyed spending fall and winter at their second home on the Gulf Coast of Florida, where they enjoyed the company of many wonderful friends. They also enjoyed the family’s cottage on Canadohta Lake. George was a proud grandfather and great-grandfather, and enjoyed attending their activities.
He is survived by his wife, Sheila McCollough Beck, whom he married on August 22, 1952 at the First English Lutheran Church in Chicora. Also surviving is a daughter, Pam (Gary) Miller, of Chicora, two sons, Daniel Beck, of Atlanta, GA, and George(Linda Mourer) Beck, of Chicora; seven grandchildren, Erin (Josh) Stonebraker, , Patrick (Jessica) Miller, Kevin (Sarah) Beck, Lori (Cale Davis)Beck, Nicole Beck, Paul Beck, and Kaylee Beck; three great-grandchildren, Camden Stonebraker, Elyse Stonebraker, and Beck Miller; a sister, Marjorie Ritchie, of Shaker Heights, OH; a sister-in-law, Roseanne McCollough, of Sarver; as well as a number of nieces and nephews.
Mr. Beck was preceded in death by two brothers, John A. Beck and Thomas F. Beck; three sisters, Betty McClung, Janny Jameson, Isabel Johnson.
Friends will be received at the Hile Funeral Home of Chicora, 339 Chicora-Fenelton Rd., Chicora, from 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. Friday and at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2217 Chicora Road, Chicora from 10-11 a.m. Saturday. A funeral service will follow from the church at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Joseph Boomhower. Interment will be in Northside Cemetery, Butler. Memorial contributions in Mr. Beck's memory may be made to the Petroleum Valley Youth Center, PO Box 226, Chicora, PA 16025.
For more information or to send a condolence, please visit www.hilefh.com.
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