Memorial service Saturday for Clark J. Beck, Jr., 1932-2017

This Saturday, family and friends will gather to remember Clark J. Beck, Jr. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:

Clark J. Beck, Jr. was born in Wichita, Kansas on January 6, 1932, and died at his West Seattle home surrounded by family and close friends on August 2, 2017.

A much admired and respected aeronautical engineer and dedicated aerospace historian, he attended Wichita State University and received Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees in aeronautical engineering. Clark worked at the university wind tunnel and also at Beech Aircraft while attending Wichita State. He served as an officer in the US Air Force at the Arnold Engineering Development Center wind tunnel facility in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Clark joined the Boeing Company in 1958 and worked at facilities in Wichita, Huntsville, and Seattle until he retired in 1993. He worked with the Structures Engineering Staff and specialized in vibration and noise problems associated with aircraft and space vehicles. He worked on the B-47, B-52, Saturn 1C Launch Vehicle, AWACS, 737, Supersonic Transport, Minuteman, B-l, IUS launch vehicle and 777 aircraft.

Clark took great pride and pleasure in his participation in Boy Scouts, earning the Eagle rank as a teen, volunteering with Troop 288 in West Seattle and forever embodying the scouting ideals of community service, kindness, helpfulness and excellence. Clark was a devoted husband to surviving wife Evalea, and they celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in September 2016. He was a loving father to surviving sons Dave (Kathleen) Beck and Dan (Toni) Beck, and proud grandfather to Malcolm, Helene, Leah (mother Leslie Beck), Khrystal, Ashley, and Savannah.

In 1999 Clark became a docent at the Museum of Flight in Seattle and in his retirement years diligently researched aviation and aerospace history and shared his discoveries in regular talks and tours for museum visitors. He was a faithful leader and congregant at Seattle First Christian Church and played an important role in the merging of SFCC into All Pilgrims Christian Church. He loved his pets, his garden, listening to “Willie’s Roadhouse” on satellite radio, and keeping all things in good order and repair. He was a man of extraordinary skill and intellect, curiosity, kindness, humility, grace, love, and good humor, much loved by all who encountered him.

We celebrate his life on Saturday, August 12, 2017, at 2 PM at All Pilgrims Christian Church, 500 Broadway East. Memorials can be made in his name to All Pilgrims Christian Church or the Museum of Flight.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

1 Reply to "Memorial service Saturday for Clark J. Beck, Jr., 1932-2017"

  • miws August 9, 2017 (10:26 am)

    Sincerest condolences to Clark’s family and other loved ones. He was one of my regular and truly favorite customers at Seattle Filmworks/Photoworks where Zaw Pizza is now located. 

    I can certainly attest to the point of his “kindness helpfulness”. He always had that smile on his face, and a kind word, and was pleasant to chat with. On the helpfulness front, he taught me the importance of, and how to, defrag a computer.

    We had a digital photo station in the store which was basically a computer running Windows 95, IIRC, and that had Photo Shop-like software in it for copying, retouching, and printing digital photos. 

    Clark walked into the store one day, and I don’t recall if I was having particular issues with the computer, but perhaps it was running slow or something, and I told him. He said: “Have you defragged it lately ?” I look at him and basically say; “Huh?”. I didn’t get my own computer until I got laid-off from SFW when they closed that and the other remaining stores down,  so I was still at the point with computers that I feared if I did anything other than start it up, shut it down, and the other stuff I’d been trained on that the thing would blow up. 

    I may have been a little reluctant at first, but Clark assured me it was a simple process and that I wouldn’t mess the computer up in running defrag. Feeling that I knew him well enough by this point and that he knew what he was talking about and would not be trying to “prank” me, I let him show me. 

    Turns out, of course, that as he said it was a simple process, and from then on I did it on a regular basis. 


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