May 11, 2010

Celebrating the great life of George W. Beckham Jr.

George William Beckam, Jr. May 10, 1921 - Mar. 11, 2010 Resident of Alameda George William Beckam, Jr. died peacefully on March 11, 2010 in Alameda. Mr. Beckam attended Fremont High school in Oakland and then the University of California at Berkeley, where he met his wife of 67 years, Virginia Arnold Lee. At UC Berkeley, he jointed the ROTC. He then interrupted his studies to enlist in the Army and was sent to Officer Training School. After his own training, he trained troops at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri before becoming the Post Engineer at Henry Barracks in Puerto Rico. He retired as Lieutenant Colonel from the Army Reserve where he was in charge of mobilization of the Western States in case of enemy attack on the mainland. At the conclusion of the war Mr. Beckam returned to UC Berkeley and completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering while he worked full time. He was later hired by Alameda County as Traffic Engineer. He worked twenty years for the county before becoming a consultant to Highway safety projects around the state. He became California's first licensed Traffic Engineer (license No. 00001). He also wrote the protocols, interviewed applicants and made recommendations as to who was qualified to become a licensed Traffic Engineer. Mr. Beckam's expertise in the field of traffic was the basis of his successful bid for Alameda City Council. He served two terms, one as vice mayor. He was a major contributor in helping to pass measure A and greatly limit the density at Harbor Bay development and protect the quality of life in Alameda. George and Virginia were avid bridge players. As well, they shared a love of history and travel and wanted to see where history had happened and was happening. During their marriage, they visited most of the European, many of the South AMerican and African countries and the USA. They have been on most of the major rivers in the world. George also enjoyed the arts. For several years he and his family were involved with the Oakland Metropolitan Ballet Company where they enjoyed being stage manager and helped to produce ballet performances. His favorite was the Nutcracker Suite. George was preceded in death by his parents George and Francis Beckham and his brother Harold Beckam. He will be greatly missed by his wife Virginia Lee Beckam and his four children, Sydney Howard (Bob), George W. Beckam III, Karen Petersen (George), and Katherine Cato (Adam). He also leaves 9 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, his sister-in-law Helen Beckam and nephew David Beckam. There will be Memorial service to celebrate his life on Saturday, April 10, 2010, 1:00 pm, at Greer Family Mortuary, 2694 Blanding Ave., Alameda, CA. Greer Family Mortuary

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