AMerican Veteran 11

Richard Charles Beckner

March 1, 1923 ~ October 7, 2019 (age 96)


Richard Charles Beckner, 96, left this Earth while at home and went peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior after a lengthy illness.

Born to Sanford and Lucille (Rensberger) Beckner on March 1, 1923 in South Bend, IN.

He is preceded in death by his wife Genevieve, his parents, two brothers Devere and Robert Beckner and two sisters, Lois Leila and Beverly Libby.

Richard graduated from Riley High School in January 1941.  After graduation, Richard went to Ft. Benjamin Harrison for the Army.  After graduating, he was sent to Great Lakes Naval Academy where he became a Naval Pilot Cadet during the Second World War.  Later, he studied at the University of New Mexico. Richard enlisted in the Air Force in 1949 and served during the Korean and Viet Nam Wars.  He retired from the Air Force in 1967 as a Chief Master Sergeant.    After the war, Dick married the love of his life, Genevieve Eaton on June 6, 1947 in Michigan City, IN. 

Richard is leaving behind a loving family, his daughter, Sharon (James) Serwatka and son, Lawrence Susdorf, five grandchildren; John (Ann Marie) Ranschaert, Michelle Ranschaert, Caleb Serwatka, Jeff (Nancy) Susdorf and Kimberly (Curtis) Waters.  He was also blessed with 6 Great Grandchildren and 3 Great Great Grandchildren.

Richard was baptized in Jesus Christ in Rapid City, South Dakota, while serving in the Air Force.  Later he became a deacon in the Rapid City Church of Christ.

If there is one thing people will remember about Richard, it is he had a sense of fun and an awesome sense of humor, even until the end.   He also had a heart for anyone struggling.  Richard was quick to offer a hand up if needed.

Richard was a wonderful Dad.  He was very strict, but always took the time to spend with his children.  He taught his children that they had value.  He was quick to help those in need.  He would often help his friends and neighbors. 

Richard enjoyed fishing, gardening and caring for his yard.  He kept a large garden until his late 70s.  Richard would can and freeze his produce after giving a lot of it away.  While Richard did not currently attend a formal church, he lived a Christian life.

Until age 80, Richard would travel to his home in Alabama from November until May.  Richard was active in the V.F.W. and the American Legion and was a Mason.

We are happy that Dad will finally be with Jesus and reunited with our Mom, his family and friends.

We would like to thank Southern Care Hospice Kalamazoo (JoAn, Mary, Wendy, Ryan) and Home Instead (Pam).  We could not have navigated all this without you.

Visitation for Richard will be on Friday, October 11 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Halbritter Wickens Funeral Home 615 E. Main St. Niles.  A Celebration of Richard’s life will be held at Halbritter Wickens Funeral Home on Saturday, October 12, at 1:30 pm with additional calling one hour prior to the service.  Burial will take place at Southlawn Cemetery, South Bend with military honors.

Online condolences, memories and photos may be shared with the family at


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October 11, 2019

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Halbritter Wickens Funeral Services
615 E Main Street
Niles, MI 49120

Celebration of Life
October 12, 2019

1:30 PM
Halbritter Wickens Funeral Home
615 E. Main St.
Niles, MI 49120

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