William Beckley Jr.
July 08 1935 - May 26 2016 - Age 80

William “David” Beckley, Jr. born July 8th, 1935 to William David and Jennie Gay (Daugherty) Beckley Sr, Acton, Indiana, passed away May 26, 2016. A Memorial Service for Dave with Masonic Funeral Rites will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, July 8th, 2016 at the Cascade United Methodist Church, 3 North 3rd St, Cascade, Mt.

He was raised on the family farm just outside of Greenwood, Indiana and attended the Clark Township School from the first grade to his graduation in 1954. Dave was an avid Hoosier basketball player and rooted for Notre Dame and Indiana State. After completing high school he was employed by General Electric Co. until joining the Army in 1955. After completing his basic training in Missouri he was stationed at 9th AAA Missile Battalion, Fort Baker in Sausalito, California. He was transferred to the Benicia Arsenal, Benicia California where he completed service to his country. This is where he met his lifelong wife, friend and mother of his children. Dave and his wife Helen (Ritter) were married January 3, 1957 in Benicia.

In June after discharge they began their life long journey by returning to Indiana. Dave always had a vision of flying and started his quest in 1958 to eventually becoming a commercial airline pilot. He enrolled in an airline employment school and completed the course and gained employment with Frontier Airlines. His first assignment was at the Prescott, Arizona airport. While in Prescott he began his schooling to become a pilot and achieved his license in 1960. Dave and Helen had their first child, daughter Tina Marie born in 1961. Shortly after her birth they were assigned to Kearney, Nebraska remaining there for six months. Then Dave accepted advancement with the company, always building flying hours so he could complete his goal of flying commercially in El Paso, Texas. They had a son, William David Beckley, III, completing their family.

Again moving to advance with the company, they established a home in Farmington, New Mexico. That stay was brief as Dave was offered a job in administration as a Presidents Assistant in Denver, Colorado, flying on flights evaluating efficiency of the service rendered to customers. It was there that he earnestly sought to gain his commercial license so he could fly the planes instead of just riding. Through his persistence he not only gained his commercial rating, he also gained his flight instructor rating and employment as a pilot for Frontier Airlines. During the time to gain full time status he was furloughed and briefly flew the Convair 580 planes for Khmer Akas in Cambodia. There he gained valuable experience in becoming a more proficient pilot. After a short time flying out of Denver he was reassigned to Great Falls International Airport and at that time he moved his family to Montana just outside of Cascade in the Chestnut Valley.

He was extremely proud of his home alongside the Missouri River enjoying the beautiful mountains, rolling wheat fields and ranchland. Dave and Helen lived a life of fulfillment raising their children in the country, free to enjoy the natural beauty of Montana. Dave was unable to continue flying for Frontier due to health issues. So he then flew for Bob Lohof, aerial spraying crops and also working for Holman Aviation as a flight instructor. Through persistent visits with those hiring for Montana Power he secured a job and became a dispatcher at Rainbow Damn. He served the company well from 1973 to 1996 when he retired. While working for Montana Power, he served on the negotiation committees for the IBEW, working for the safety and concerns of the power company’s personnel. In 2006 he and his wife sold their home in Cascade and bought a home in Great Falls.

After his retirement, Dave and Helen traveled looking for a retreat from the winters here in Montana, finding Safford, Arizona where they enjoyed the winters playing golf, roaming in the desert and making true and lasting friends. Dave was a Mason and belonged to Meridian Lodge #95 - AF & AM, Cascade, Mt and served as Master of that Lodge. Dave also belonged to Cascade Chapter #101, OES and served as Worthy Patron with both his wife Helen and daughter Tina. He was an excellent woodworker, enjoyed his childhood love of race cars and racing, soaring the skies at the controls of a plane and hitting the fairway of the closest golf course. He is remembered by family and friends as one who had an infectious sense of humor and a smile that melted the hearts of those who knew him. He prided himself as being “what you saw is what you got” – no false pretenses. He is forever in our hearts.

David is survived by his wife of 59 years Helen (Ritter) Beckley; daughter, Tina (John) Price; son, William D. (Bianca) Beckley, III; sister, Barbara (Jack) Cecil; grandchildren, JR, Joey, Rebecca Price, Nickolas, Austin Beckley; and great-granddaughter, Emme Price.

He was preceded in death by his father William D. Beckley, Sr. and mother Jennie Beckley; sister, Olive Wilkens and Helen’s parents Vestes and Linow Ritter.

Cascade, MT (current)
Greenwood, IN (birthplace)

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