Glenn Alton Beck
Glenn Alton Beck, age 88, died on Tuesday January 8th after a month long fight with failing health. He was surrounded by loving family until the end and will be dearly missed by all of his family and friends whose lives he touched so deeply.
Glenn was born in Aspen, Colorado on June 2, 1930 to Charles Alton Beck, a third generation Aspen grocer, and Alma Chisholm, a third generation native whose parents and grandparents had homesteaded on Snowmass Creek. As a young boy, Glenn’s family occupied three of the homes at the corners of Hopkins Ave. and Center St.(later renamed Garmisch). With Glenn’s parents in one house and his grandparents in another, the third corner was occupied by his maternal great uncle John Henry Stewart. Glenn was often tasked with delivering Uncle’s meals in the evenings, but he was rewarded with tales of Uncle’s younger days as a mine engineer and and a homesteader who later became the postmaster and railroad station agent at the store where he had homesteaded at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Snowmass Creek. Glenn also became a recipient of Uncle Stewart’s ceremonial sword; an object that Glenn treasured throughout his life.
In his youth, when Glenn wasn’t spending time in his grandfather’s grocery store in the Wheeler Opera House, or summers at his maternal grandparents ranch on Snowmass Creek, Glenn earned money working for Tom Sardy; in his home and at his mortuary and then at his hardware store. Glenn became an avid skier, something which would remain a lifelong love. Winter skiing turned into high school summers spent clearing trails for the newly formed Aspen Skiing Company. As the valedictorian of the Aspen High School class of 1948 and a competitive ski racer, Glenn earned invitations to some eastern universities on skiing scholarships, but ultimately Glenn chose to attend the University of Colorado.
Upon graduating from the University of Colorado where he had studied chemical engineering, english literature, psychology, and german, Glenn was immediately sent to the Korean War where he served as a naval officer. After the Korean War and his discharge, Glenn attended graduate school at the Thunderbird School of Foreign Trade where he was then hired as a plant manager by Armco Steel in Venezuela. Living in Venezuela for 7 years, Glenn formed one of his most enduring friendships with Orlando Jose Hidalgo who preceded him in death by only a year.
In 1962 Glenn moved back to the U.S. to be closer to his children. Living first in San Francisco and then in Southern California, Glenn worked as a representative of Shell Oil Company.
Eventually, Glenn built his own business, Beck Oil Inc., a fuel and lubricant supplier in the deserts of Southern California. Beck Oil has flourished for over 50 years. It was there in Southern California that Glenn discovered his love of exploring the desert on motorcycle. Glenn also rekindled his love of flying, a passion first formed learning to fly in a Piper Cub on a grass strip at Cozy Point Ranch. Along with sailing, these three modes of exploration were some of the principle ways that Glenn experienced nature and explored the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. Glenn loved the Baja and even into his 80s there were years when he had traversed the entire length of the peninsula multiple times by car and boat.
Glenn spent the later years of his life running his business(he never retired), traveling the world extensively with his wife Betty, and visiting the two places that he loved the most, Aspen Colorado, his family home, and the Sea of Cortez in Baja California where he felt the most at peace.
Glenn was preceded in death by his younger brother Paul, but is survived by his sister Sandra, his loving wife Betty, his children Laurie, Wendy, Corey and Alexandra, 11 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandson as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.
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