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John Beck, Bedford Resident, Investment Firm Partner, Paddle Tennis Star

John Beck
John Beck Photo Credit: Contibuted

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- John Beck, a longtime Bedford resident, died at his home in Vero Beach, Fla., on Wednesday. He was 83.

Beck oversaw the growth of the investment firm of Beck, Mack & Oliver, and was known for his own investment prowess and personable style.

The son of the late Madeline Childress and T. Edmund Beck, Beck, a Mount Vernon native, attended Phillips Exeter Academy before graduating from the Wooster School in 1949. He earned a BA in History from Princeton University in 1953. While at Princeton, Beck was part of a nationally ranked crew team that narrowly missed capturing an Olympic berth for the 1952 games. He captained the varsity crew team the following year.

Immediately following college, Beck served in the U.S. Navy rising to the rank of Lieutenant (J.G.). He went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1958 before joining Beck, Mack & Oliver, an investment counseling firm founded by his father and two of his father's Princeton colleagues.

He retired from Beck, Mack & Oliver in 1997, handing the reins of the firm to his eldest son, Robert Childress Beck of New York.

Following in the footsteps of his mother, Beck became a nationally ranked platform tennis player in the mid 70s, taking the National mixed doubles title with his sister, Susan Beck Wasch in 1972, and the National men's title with Herbert Fitzgibbon in 1974. He was also an avid fly fisherman and hunter.

He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Marilyn McClure Plumb Beck, and four other children from his first marriage to the former Mary Boulton Fiske (Beck): William Fiske Beck of Chappaqua, Susanne Boulton Beck of Boston, Christopher Mackay Beck of Mendham, NJ, and Edwin Wells Beck of Darien. He also leaves behind 14 grandchildren, his younger sister, Susan Beck Wasch, of Middletown, CT, and his older brother, Thaddeus Edmund Beck Jr. of Glasgow, VA.

Services will be held on Thursday, June 25 at 11 a.m. at Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church in Bedford.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Wooster School, 91 Miry Brook Rd, Danbury, CT 06810, to support financial aid; or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014, or on line at michaeljfox.org .

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