Raymond Earl Beckett, 75, of Maple Forest Township, passed away on March 11, 2018.
He was born in Roscommon, Michigan, on February 28, 1943, to Norman “Red” and Rachel (Clark) Beckett who both preceded him in death.
Though born in northern Michigan, he spent most of his childhood moving from state to state as his step-father followed the work in the oil fields.
After graduating from high school in Albion, Illinois, Ray received his Seabee training in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Port Hueneme, California. From there he had the opportunity to travel the world, but he always said his most memorable time was building the air base on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
He married Lenora Kay Woodham on December 22, 1970, in Davisville, Rhode Island, only three months after meeting her on a blind date.
After Ray was honorably discharged from the Navy, he came back to his favorite place in the world—northern Michigan. They settled in Grayling and Ray began work at Bear Archery where his job was finishing bow tips.
In 1978, Ray called upon his building background and his Seabee training to start Beckett Contracting, Inc. He proudly ran his business for 34 years, building and remodeling many homes in Crawford County, before officially retiring in 2012.
Ray was a hard worker who passed both his knowledge of the building trades and his work ethic on to his sons. He loved the outdoors and spent much time hunting, fishing and watching his garden grow.
Ray was also a very social person who loved to tease. He could be found every day making his rounds to visit and drink coffee at Goodale’s Bakery, Skip’s Sport Shop and DuBois Lumber.
At home he enjoyed cooking, watching historical (especially military) documentaries, playing card games with his wife, reading magazines and drawing house plans on any scrap of paper he could find.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Lenora, sons: Kevin Pogue of Bone Gap, Illinois, Chad (Melissa) Beckett of Grayling and Travis (Megan) Beckett of Grayling; daughter: Tammy (Mike) Parisher of Bone Gap, Illinois; grandchildren: Joshua (Emily) Parisher, Amber, Lily, Brianna & Joseph Parisher, Hunter, Chloe and Sofia Pogue, Oliver Beckett and Caleb Beckett; great-grandchildren: Axel and Savanna; step-brother: Duane Stennett of Grayling and favorite cousin, John Putnam of Big Lake, Alaska.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, step-mother, Leona Beckett; step-father, Alvin Stennett; and step-brother, David Beckett.
A service is planned at Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home on Saturday, March 17, with visitation from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and a memorial service at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that Ray’s generous and kind heart be remembered by donations to the Crawford County Christian Help Center.
Condolences may be expressed at www.sorensonlockwood.com.
Arrangements by Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home.