Cover photo for Ralph Beck's Obituary
Ralph Beck Profile Photo

Ralph Beck

November 18, 1938 — November 23, 2023

Ralph Beck

Ralph Beck, 85, of Atlantic, Iowa, died Thursday, November 23, 2023, at Heritage House in Atlantic.

Ralph Dale Beck was born on November 18, 1938, in Lake City, Iowa, the son of Roy Charles and Nina Emma Alvina (Kruckenberg) Beck.  He grew up on the farm and enjoyed reminiscing through the years about his horses.  Ralph attended school in Guthrie Center and graduated from Lytton Consolidated High School in 1957.

Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and was stationed at Duluth Air Base working as a navigation equipment specialist.  After his honorable discharge he served in the United States Air Reserves.   Ralph worked as a delivery driver for Omar Bakeries and as a vacuum salesman in the Des Moines area until an opportunity arose in early 1971 to move to Atlantic and work at Gambles, a hardware and housewares store, which he would later purchase in 1980.  When you entered the store, he would greet you with a smile and at Christmas time he would do whatever it took to make sure families were together with presents under the tree. Ralph took a lot of pride in his business and serving his customers.   He later worked at Kum & Go, Mahle, and Hy-Vee, in addition to maintaining rental houses, at one time having 52 of them.  Ralph retired from Mahle after 30 years.    

On October 6, 1971, he was united in marriage to Elaine (Sorensen) McDermott in Sac City, Iowa.  The family’s home at 3rd and Olive was known at the time for its multiple rabbit hutches and large garden that outgrew the yard and was expanded to an area down by the railroad tracks.  In 1983, Ralph and his family moved to a farm south on Highway 71.   Life on the farm was a dream come true; he loved every minute of it!  He had a variety of animals including oxen, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys.  In addition to caring for the animals he also did custom baling.  In 2008, he moved back into town.   No matter where home was, he always had a dog as a companion.  In Ralph’s eyes there was only one kind of tractor…a John Deere.

Anyone that knew Ralph knew he liked to gossip and bicker, but at the end of the day he was fun loving and looked forward to time with his family and friends.  He took a lot of pride in getting the family together for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter; if you walked away hungry it was your own fault because there was always an abundance of food. 

He enjoyed playing cards, board and electronic games and fishing, favorite places being a lake by Superior, Iowa and the Nishnabotna River.  He bowled in a league at Hawkeye Bowl for many years and to this day wouldn’t turn down a game of pool.  A lot of memories were made, especially with his kids and grandkids, on the many motorcycle trips that were taken; even owning a Can-AM Spyder at one time.

Ralph is survived by his children, Daleen (Mike) Clark of Atlantic, Devin McDermott of Atlantic, Darwin McDermott of Atlantic, Dory (Todd) Schrader of Exira, Susan Favata of Gresham, OR, and Renea (Scott) Steffens of Wiota; 19 grandchildren; 57 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; sister, Doris (Lavern) Royer of Coon Rapids; and many extended family. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Nina Beck; parents-in-law, George and Lucille Snow; wife, Elaine Beck; son, Steve Beck; brother, Gordon Beck; and brother-in-law, Jerry Snow. 

Visitation with the family present will be held from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Sunday, November 26th at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, November 27th at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic.  Burial will be in the Atlantic Cemetery, with military honors by the Atlantic Color Guard.

The service will be recorded and available on the funeral home website by noon on Tuesday.

Roland Funeral Service is caring for Ralph’s family and his arrangements.  Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Beck, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, November 26, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, November 27, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am

Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Monday, November 27, 2023

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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