John W. Beck III died at home at age 82 on April 19, after five years of living with pulmonary fibrosis. During that time, he traveled to see polar bears in the Arctic, penguins on South Georgia Island, gray whales in the Sea of Cortez, the palaces of St. Petersburg, and the art history of the Po Valley.
He also loved barbershop harmony, jazz, the golf course, the ocean, his cats, and his friends. A month before his death, scores of them were invited to send memories and photos, almost all of which he got to savor. His sense of humor remained intact until the end.
John was a man of many accomplishments. During his career in the energy industry, he designed, licensed, and managed nuclear power plants. As a consultant, he developed a system of safety culture for utility companies in the U.S. and Spain that was also adopted by the Alaska pipeline company.
In retirement, John served for more than a dozen years on the Cohasset Sewer Commission. He oversaw the expansion of the treatment plant and the building of the wastewater system for Little Harbor and Atlantic Avenue, which reduced pollution and resolved a long-standing judgment imposed by the State against the town.
Born in 1938, John Beck grew up in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, where his father, John Beck II, was the music director and high school principal. His beloved stepmother, Mary Alice, taught English and Latin. They, his mother Martha Jones Beck, and his brother Stephen Ronald Beck predeceased him. He leaves his wife Stacey Weaver, daughter Lisa Beck and her wife Sara-Beth Havican, daughter Jennifer Beck Mkrtchian and her husband Charlie, son John Beck IV, granddaughter Olivia Beck, and nephew Stephen Beck and his family.
Honoring his wishes and the rules of the pandemic, services will be private. When it is safe, his friends will gather to toast him with wines from his collection. In lieu of flowers, which his cat Marco would quickly destroy, please consider a donation to the Scituate Animal Shelter or your favorite charity.