Richard L. Beckerley, 83 of Billings, passed away on March 15, 2008 in Billings.
He was born in Ishpeming, Michigan to Matthew B. Beckerleg and Jenny Lawry on September 4, 1924. Richard’s family came over to America from the Cornwall, England area. The family’s last name was Beckerleg. Richard changed his last name to Beckerley. He had an older half brother and half sister both from England that he never met. The half brother served with Montgomery in Africa fighting the Germans during World War II.
At the age of 18, he joined the US Air Force and flew bomber planes during WWII delivering cargo everywhere including Fairbanks, Alaska. He attended adjudent general’s school in New Orleans and later Eastern Montana College. Richard left Michigan and moved his family to Wisconsin and then to Colorado where he ran branch offices for Liberty Loan. He then moved to Billings, Montana.
While in the Billings area, Richard ran his own finance company, Montana Reserve, owned a used car lot, Car City, and managed Quality Mobile Homes. He was with his friend, Charles Sparboe, the day that he was murdered and narrowly missed the same fate. He was a 32-degree mason, a member of the Shrine Clown Unit, and had been a member of the Elks Lodge for over 50 years.
He loved to collect guns and old cars. From his home country, Richard learned to love eating “pasties” which were homemade pies that iron miners used to take to work for their lunches. He was always a gentleman.
His son, Robert Beckerley, and his parents precede Richard in death. On November 4, 1944 he married Neva and had two children; Robert and Jane. In 1980, he married Barbara Anderson. He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; daughter, Jane Ahlquist; grandsons, Trey Greene (his best buddy), Ricky Beckerley and Jim Ahlquist; granddaughters, Jenny Williams, Katie Beckerley and Julie Carlson; as well as five great-granddaughters and three great-grandsons.
Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 A.M., Tuesday, March 18, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. A reception will follow in the foyer. Private family entombment with military honors will be at Sunset Memorial Gardens Mausoleum. The casket will be open for viewing one hour prior to the service.
Memorials may be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 2110 Overland Ave, Suite 111, Billings, MT 59102.