Donald Clifford Beck of Salmon Arm died peacefully at the General Hospital. Born on July 4, 1932 at the Winnipeg General Hospital to Peter and Kathrine Beck, Don grew up in Charleswood along with his three brothers, Norman, Raymond and Gordon and sister Bernice.
His first job was delivering parcels for Hudson Bay Company at the age of 13. At the age of 15, he entered the Army Reserves and worked in logistics. He bought his first Harley Davidson bike at 16 and began working for CN delivery.
Don married Anne Christine Olason of Winnipeg in August 1950. They lived in St. Vital until Don joined the National Park Service in 1956 and lived at the McCreary Warden Station with their five children, Wayne, Patrick, Kimberly, Randy and Wendy.
Don loved being a Park Warden. Don had many fond memories and stories of that time; riding the park boundaries, catching and arresting poachers, and relying on his trusty horse Lee and his German Shepard, Rex.
Don married Eleanor Robertson (nee LaFreniere) of Portage la Prairie in June 1969 and they moved with Eleanor’s two children Patrick and Rae-Lynne to Wasagaming (Clear Lake) where Don had taken the position of Area Manager of Riding Mountain. During that time Don and Patrick raced Arctic Cat snowmobiles around the area at community races and skied at Mt. Agassiz.
The National Park Service sent Don to the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences in Saskatoon where he completed a Diploma in Renewable Resources and then was assigned to the Chief Warden’s position at Glacier National Park in 1972.
Don and Eleanor lived in staff quarters at Roger’s Pass in Glacier Park until January 1974 when they purchased the Skyline Truck Stop at Craigellachie. They operated the Skyline until 1989 when they sold the business and retired to Blind Bay, BC. They lived down the road from their daughter Rae-Lynne, whom they both adored and who was an integral part of their lives until their passings.
Don and Eleanor loved their place at Cedar Heights overlooking Copper Island in an arm of Shuswap Lake. They became snow birds buying a place in Lake Havasu, Arizona and journeyed south for 17 winters after which they bought a winter place in Summerland, BC.
Don and Eleanor enjoyed many family celebrations at their various homes. There are many funny pictures of Don and his entourage playing practical jokes on family members throughout the years.
At 70, Don and Eleanore purchased a lot on the 12th hole of Shuswap Estates Golf Course and had their dream house built for them. Right in front of them was the grass landing strip and they enjoyed seeing the small planes landing and watching the golfers.
About this time Don bought his second Harley Davidson. It was a stunning turquoise and white Heritage soft tail. Don loved to go on rides all around the area. When he developed vertigo in his 80s he replaced the Heritage with a custom made Harley trike that he rode until he was 88.
Don loved to be outdoors his entire life. After Eleanor passed away in October 2016, he moved to Salmon Arm and went for his walks everyday around McQuire Lake where the hospital is located. And it was here, with humour to the very end, that he passed on April 16, 2022 at the age of 89 after a wonderful life to join the love of his life in heaven.
Donald Beck is survived by his children Patrick, Wendy, and Kim Beck, and step-children Patrick (Loie) and Rae-lynne Robertson and many grandchildren including Joel (Deidre), and Lindsey Robertson of Calgary, Jessie (Amanda) and Jamie (Courtney) Adam of Revelstoke; Steven, Megan and Samantha Beck and great grandchildren Emalynne, Madeleine, Jonah, Carter, and Ellery Adam of Revelstoke.
Internment was at Tappen Cemetery. A memorial by family will be held at a later date.
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