He died Thursday, June 26, 2014, at Washington Care Center, Greenville. Arrangements are under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Leland.
Mr. Beckham was born on August 10, 1923, in Shaw to Eva Field and Aubrey Wright Beckham. He graduated from Shaw High School and Mississippi State University where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and ROTC. He saw active duty as an Army 2nd Lieutenant in the 25th Infantry Division in Luzon, Philippines as part of General MacArthur’s campaign and the occupation of Japan. Honorably discharged in 1946, he graduated from MSU in 1948 and returned to Shaw and began a lifetime of farming cotton, soybeans and rice. He married Sarah Nell Morgan in 1949. Active in civic and church affairs, Mr. Beckham was an elder at Shaw Presbyterian Church, served for many years as the Clerk of the Session of the Leland Presbyterian Church as well as being elected Moderator of the Presbytery of St. Andrew and Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA. He was on the Boards of Directors of both Delta Electric Power Association and Leland Public School System and was a Little League and Boy Scout volunteer. He was a Paul Harris Rotary Fellow, served locally as a Soil and Conservation board member for over 20 years and was a past State President of the Soil and Water Conservation District. Upon retirement, he particularly enjoyed his involvement with the Washington County Red Cross and with Leland’s Habitat for Humanity where he served as a charter and Board of Directors member. He was an avid supporter of MSU athletics and a member of the Bulldog Club.
Mr. Beckham was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Sarah Morgan Beckham, and his sister, Helen Elizabeth Beckham.
Survivors include his wife, Bess Bennett Beckham of Leland; his daughters Cindy Ellen Beckham of Flowood, Sarah Helen Beckham of Tupelo; sons Dr. James Ray Beckham and wife Donna (Rogers) of Greenville, Aubrey Morgan Beckham and wife ElizaBeth (Angle) of Leland, Glenn Field Beckham and wife Susan (Slade) of Greenwood; seven grandchildren, Richard Morgan Beckham and wife Mindy (King) of Grenada, Dr. James Bradley Beckham and wife Jaimie (Brocato) of Johnstown, Penn., Bonny Allison Beckham of Denver, Colo., Marion Christina Beckham Savage and husband Sam of Nashville, Tenn., Melissa Carol Beckham Cadenhead and husband Win of Greenville, Aubrey Field Beckham of Nashville, Tenn., Anastasia Morgan Beckham of Tupelo; and three great-grandchildren, Riley Morgan Beckham and Nola Jennings Beckham of Grenada and Piper Lee Beckham of Johnstown, Penn. He is also survived by his stepdaughter Bess Bennett Moss of Leland and her children, James Aaron Moss and Cameron Scott Moss of Leland and stepson James Eston Bennett III, his wife Beverly (Lewis) of Greenville and their children, Laura Frances Bennett of State College, Penn., and Joshua Peay Bennett, also of Greenville.
The family wishes to acknowledge special friend and caregiver Lupe Jackson, Dr. Michael Cirilli, Dr. Leon Lenoir and the staff at Washington Care Center.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to visitation at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Leland Presbyterian Church.