from bulletin for memorial service

Obituary for George Beckord

George Martin Beckord of Longmont, a retired agri-businessman and horticulturist, passed away October 30, 1996 at Longmont United Hospital. He was 80.

George was born June 9, 1916 in York, Nebraska, to Mable L. Christopherson Beckord and Martin R. Beckord. He grew up in nearby Utica, Ne., where he graduated from high school. He had two brothers, Robert and Wendell, and a sister, Jean.

Near the end of the great depression, George moved to northwest Iowa and started a chicken hatchery business in Rolfe, Ia. He met Anita Mae Miller when Anita brought her niece into the hatchery to see the chickens. They were married in 1940, and made their home in Rolfe, where they raised five children.

Over a period of 40 years, George and Anita developed their poultry business. Eventually diversifying into the production of fertilized eggs, for use by drug manufacturer Parke-Davis, for flu and measle vaccine.

For many years, George enjoyed breeding and showing bantams at competitions throughout the midwest. In 1946, he served as the secretary of the Iowa State Bantam Association. He raised and bred the Red Pyle Old English Game Bantam, which was admitted to the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection as a standard breed. In 1955, George Beckord and Sons won the award for Grand Champion Bantam of the entire show, of over 1500 bantams, at the Iowa State Fair.

The Beckord family bought land near Estes Park, Co. in 1961, and literally built a cabin by hand during summer vacations over a period of five years. In 1979, George and Anita retired to their home in Estes Park. Upon retirement, George studied horticulture and soon mastered the art and science of growing beautiful flowers and plants.

George will be remembered for his hard work, honesty and business management skills; his insistence that his children benefit from a college education, even though he was deprived of that opportunity; his love of books and his knowledge of history; his kindness to visitors who typically left his gardens with a complimentary flower basket; his steadfast devotion to his wife, Anita, for 56 years; and his sense of humor and honorable political sensibilities, which can be summarized by his favorite joke, heard hundreds of times by those who loved him... "I have no bad habits. I don't smoke, I don't drink, and I don't vote Republican."

George is survived by his wife, Anita of Longmont, four sons; Sydney and his wife Grace of Storm Lake, Ia., Bruce and his wife Mary Lou of Boulder, Co., Donald and his wife Jean of Seattle, Wa., and John and his wife Carol of Iowa City, Ia; a daughter Sara and her husband Steve Swails of Iowa City, Ia; and a sister Jean Rehmer and her husband Al of Aurora, Co. He also had 14 grandchildren, of whom he was very proud: Aaron, Nathan, Adam, Stephanie, Andrew, Amanda, Sara, Emily, Allison, Daniel, Lindsay, Brian, Abigail, and Alexander.