Roger L. Beckman, 97Published 9:04am Thursday, May 30, 2013
Born: Feb. 15, 1916
Died: May 28, 2013
Roger L. Beckman, 97, of Lewis Drive in Niles, died at 5 a.m. on Tuesday May 28, 2013, at West Woods of Niles of natural causes.
He was born on Feb. 15, 1916, in Michigan City, Ind., to August Henry and Anna C. (Jensen) Beckman. As a young man, he began his career in Michigan City on the Michigan Central railroad. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was assigned to military railroads in southwest Asia with the 791st Operating Battalion. He was discharged as a staff sergeant and a veteran of World War II. He followed the New York Central railroad, moving to Niles and buying the third house in Oak Manor. He was proud to serve on Amtrak’s inaugural on May 1, 1971. In 1978, he retired from the Penn Central railroad after 42 years of service. His career uniquely spanned the transition from exclusively steam power locomotives to exclusively diesel power locomotives, both civilian and military railroad service, both freight and passenger service, and from private passenger service to Amtrak.
Roger was a member of the Military Railroad Service Veterans Association and enjoyed attending annual reunions. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #26 in Niles and the Loyal Order of Moose #449 in Buchanan. He also enjoyed golfing, often at Brookwood Golf Course in Buchanan and had recorded a hole-in-one at the University of Notre Dame golf course. He was a fan of the Chicago Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks. During their younger years, he and his wife were talented dancers.
On Sept. 5, 1942, in Alexandria, La., he married the former Miriam L. Klute whom he had met nine days earlier. They celebrated the 54th anniversary of their wedding prior to her death on April 23, 1997. He was also preceded in death by his brothers, John E. Beckman and Wallace E. Beckman.
Surviving family includes their children, Marianna (and Cliff) Copeland, of Lawrenceburg, Ind., Marabeth (and Orlan) Ketrow, of Tipp City, Ohio, Sarajane (and Larry) Pickles and William (and Doris) Beckman, both of Niles; 14 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
The family of Roger L. Beckman will receive relatives and friends from 2 until 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, 2013, at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles. Full military honors for Mr. Beckman will be offered at 4 p.m. on Sunday on the lawn of the funeral home by the U.S. Army Honor Guard and American Legion Post #51 of Buchanan.
Contributions in memory of Roger Beckman may be made to Hospice at Home.