The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Joseph Conrad Beck dies

Published: August 29, 2019   

Event Details

Date: August 28, 2019 - August 30, 2019

Joseph Conrad Beck, 1928-2019. It is with great sadness that the family of Joe Beck, 91, announces his sudden passing at his home in Little Rock on Sunday, August 25. Husband, father, brother, uncle and friend, Joe was born on May 11, 1928. He was proceeded in death by his wife Mary Janet Garbacz Beck; his son John Albert Beck; and his parents, Joseph Matthew and Margaret Beck. He is survived by his children: Mary Beck Clerget (Harry), Paula Beck Holmes (John), Dr. J. Thad Beck (Melanie), Janet Beck Cravens (Will); his siblings: Louis Beck, William Beck, John Edward Beck (Carolyn), and Margie Plunkett (Joe); and his ten grandchildren.

Joe graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in engineering and had a master’s degree in Rocket Science from Purdue University. A veteran of the Korean War, he piloted the B-29 bomber and was a member of the 52 Charlie Training Class. He retired from the U.S. Air Force as a full Colonel. He worked at both Union Camp and Southern Paper Box Company. His wife Janet was the love of his life and they were married for 57 years. He was devoted to his family and thrived on big family celebrations, most of which including toasting with champagne.

Joe was a man of faith and it guided his entire life. At 16, he fell into a coma from spinal meningitis and was not expected to recover. His mother made a novena to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. Joe made a full recovery and the family adopted St Jude as their champion saint. Joe named his first son Joseph Thaddeus after St. Jude. He was President of the Serra Club, and he and his wife, Janet. were members of Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre. As an active member of the Christ the King Catholic Church, he attended mass daily. He enthusiastically volunteered for assignments no one else wanted, including the 1 a.m. adoration hour for the Blessed Sacrament, two nights a week.

He was a loyal friend and confidant, an incredible role model, and an eternal optimist. He had a beautiful active life. He loved adventure, travel and most of all flying--which he enjoyed well into his 80s. He and his three brothers were avid Notre Dame alumni, and all recently traveled to South Bend for his 70-year college reunion with their sister, Margie, and his daughter, Mary. Joe will be missed by all those who knew him.

A Rosary will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 29th at Christ the King Catholic Church in Little Rock, AR with a visitation following the Rosary. The Mass of Christian Burial celebrating Joe’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, August 30 at Christ the King Catholic Church with the burial, with full Military Honors, immediately following at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock, AR. Funeral arrangements are being conducted by Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth, 5800 12th Street, Little Rock, AR. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ the King Catholic Church, 4000 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, AR 72205-1601 or to the Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, 1910 S Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60608. To sign the online guestbook, click “Add A Memory” at:

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