Friday, May 27, 2022

Donald Miller Beckley

| November 19, 2021 1:00 AM

Donald Miller Beckley passed away peacefully at the Kennewick Hospice House on Nov. 6, 2021, at the age of 82, with his beloved wife and family at his side. Don was preceded in death by his parents Merle and Isabelle Beckley; a sister, MaryAnn, and a brother, Merle, Jr. Survivors include his wife of 58 years Sharon, a daughter Holly (David) Price of Whidbey Island, Washington, a son Kurt (Melody) of Kennewick, Washington, a granddaughter Lauren (Ryan) Kirkpatrick of Pullman, Washington; a grandson, Harrison (Erin) Price of Seattle, Washington, a brother, David of Vancouver, Washington, and several nieces and nephews.

Don was born in Twin Falls, Idaho, and later moved to Notus, Idaho, with his family to farm. He graduated from Notus High School in 1957 and went on to the University of Idaho where he was a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity and graduated with a bachelor of science in business. His first job post-graduation was at People’s National Bank in Othello, Washington. It was while working at People’s that he met and married Sharon Shelman, and their first child, Holly was born.

From Othello, they moved to Pullman to attend graduate school at the U of I. After one semester they moved to Anchorage, Alaska. During the eight years they lived in Anchorage, Don worked for the Alaska Automobile Association, became comptroller for the Alaska Air National Guard and served on the board of directors for the Alaska Federal Credit Union. While in Alaska their second child, Kurt, was born. In 1970, Don was selected to attend Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, Alabama.

In 1974, Don moved his family to Moses Lake and he went to work for the Eastern Washington Bank before starting the Eastern Washington Employment Agency. In 1980, Don was in a serious accident which led him to close the agency. After recovering from the accident, he took on many projects. His proudest accomplishment was being project manager for the Moses Lake Clean Lakes Project. The Moses Lake Irrigation District later named one of their key pump stations “Don Beckley’s Landing” to honor him for being instrumental in the movement to clean up the lake.

Don loved living in the Columbia Basin and enjoyed over 40 years there doing what he loved best “farming his little acre” and taking care of the land. Another joy was playing the harmonica. Family and friends were serenaded on their birthdays by Don calling them to play “Happy Birthday.” He even taught school children to play to keep the love of the harmonica alive for the next generation. Most of all, Don will be remembered for the love he felt for his family and friends.

At Don’s request there will be no service, but a “Celebration of Life” honoring his memory will be held in early spring when the water begins to flow back into the Columbia Basin. Pioneer Memorial Gardens oversaw final arrangements.