Gordon Lynn Beckstrand (1928-2016)

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Gordon Beckstrand
Born: 21 Nov 1928 Meadow, Utah
Died: 29 Aug 2016 Lehi, Utah
Father: John Milton Beckstrand
Mother: Eva Lovell
Siblings: Joseph Milton Beckstrand
Harold Lovell Beckstrand
Gordon Lynn Beckstrand
Mervin Bennett Beckstrand
Linford Collier Beckstrand
Spouse: Norma Spencer
Married: 16 Jun 1948 Salt Lake City, Utah
Children: David Gordon Beckstrand
Scott Beckstrand
Gary Lynn Beckstrand

Obituary

The Millard County Chronicle Progress, Friday, September 2, 2016:

Gordon Lynn Beckstrand
November 21, 1928 ~ August 29, 2016

Our gentle, kind, faith-filled father, grandfather, and friend Gordon Lynn Beckstrand passed away peacefully at his home on August 29, 2016. Gordon was born on November 21, 1928 to Eva Lovell and John Milton Beckstrand in Meadow, Utah, where he spent the first eighteen years of his life. Gordon graduated from Millard High School in 1946, where he played football for the mighty Eagles. He ran track at Branch Agricultural College (now SUU), placing 4th in the 400-meter Junior College National Championships.

Gordon married the love of his life, Norma Spencer, on June 16, 1948 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They were always on the move, going wherever the educational opportunities or jobs took them, touching countless lives wherever they lived, including: Meadow, UT; Castle Dale, UT; Ithaca, NY; Madison, WI; Logan, UT; Richfield, UT; East Lansing, MI; Fort Collins, CO; Washington DC; Mogadishu, Somalia; Cairo, Egypt; Leeds, UT; Alpine, UT; and Lehi, UT.

Gordon received his Bachelor of Science degree from Utah State Agricultural College in 1950 then worked in extension services in Weber, Emery, and Cache counties. He went on to earn his Master’s from Cornell University and PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1959. After graduation, his career included responsibility for 4H Extension programs in Utah, Michigan, and Colorado. Later in his career, he worked in Washington D.C. for the Federal Extension Service. Gordon completed two overseas assignments in the Federal Extension Service in Mogadishu, Somalia and Cairo, Egypt.

Uncle Gordon

Gordon spent his life serving others. He served as bishop of the Lansing 2nd Ward in East Lansing, Michigan and faithfully held many other callings in the LDS Church. He was an exceptional and faithful home teacher and had a significant influence on all those he visited. Gordon and Norma served four LDS missions together: Co-Directors, St. George Member Locator Center; Guides, St. George Historical Sites; Coordinators, St. George Temple Baptistry; Missionaries, St. George Temple Visitors’ Center.

Gordon was a talented musician, paying for much of his education by singing professionally, and accordingly, the Beckstrand home was filled with music. Gordon and Norma frequently sang and performed together with their sons. Each of their sons grew up with a deep love of music.

Gordon had the special ability to show charity from a pure heart. He truly was without guile, and everyone who knew him loved him dearly. His greatest legacy is his devotion to his beloved wife, Norma, and his posterity. Family meant everything to Gordon, and he showed it by the way he lived and loved all of us. He taught and exemplified kindness, charity, and meekness. Gordon’s most precious possession was his testimony of the restored gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He shared it unapologetically and often.

Gordon is survived by his three brothers: Harold (Nadine), Mervin (Carolyn), and Linford (Mary Louise); his three sons, David (Joy) of Lehi, Utah, Scott (Carrie) of Overton, Nevada, and Gary (Jennifer) of Centerville, Utah. He has 23grandchildren and 37great-grandchildren with 2 on the way. He was preceded in death by his wife Norma Spencer Beckstrand, his brother Joseph Beckstrand, and his granddaughters Laura Beckstrand and Mikheala Beckstrand.

The family would like to thank those who cared for Gordon, particularly David and Joy Beckstrand, who sacrificed countless hours for his comfort, and Mary Smith, his hospice nurse and friend.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 10:00 am at the Pheasant Point 7th LDS Ward Chapel, 3065 North 1300 West, Lehi, Utah. Family and friends may call on Friday, September 9, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the Warenski Funeral Home, 1776 North 900 East, American Fork, Utah and again on Saturday morning from 8:30 to 9:30 am at the church prior to services. A graveside service will also be held on Saturday, September 10 at 4:00 p.m. at the cemetery in Meadow, Utah. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.warenski.com

Sources

  • LDS Family Group Record Collection [Patron Section]
    The Beckstrands
Submitted by: Linford C. Beckstrand
Family of: John Milton Beckstrand and Eva Lovell
  • Spencer, Seymour H. Orson Spencer Descendants, Through 1956, p. 115.
  • The Deseret News, Thursday, March 12, 2014, Obituary: Beckstrand, Norma Spencer