Richard Beck

Obituary of Richard L. Beck

Richard "Rick" Lee Beck, age 66, passed unexpectedly on April 1, 2022. He was predeceased by his father Harford Clayton Beck, 6 weeks prior to Rick's passing. Rick is survived by his deeply saddened and loving family: mother Catherine "Sadie" Beck; sister Vikki (Gary) Gilliland of Sarasota, FL; brother Larry (Tammy) Beck of Elmira Heights, NY & brother Doug (Pam) Beck of Lorain, OH; nephews Richard "RC" Gilliland & Daniel Gilliland; nieces Ashley (Buddy) Barrett, Andrea "Annie" Beck (Kevin Rice) & Leslie Beck, as well as his great-nephew Ethan Barrett & great-niece Marianna Barrett. Numerous aunts, uncles and cousins are also saddened by Rick's unexpected passing. Rick is best known for his positive attitude and his out-going & vibrant personality…"always with a smile in spite of his disability"…"A little guy with a huge heart". Growing up with his siblings, Rick was an integral part of 10th Street in Elmira Heights. He could be found out & about on his mechanics "creeper" as well as his motorized scooter and/or wheelchair until receiving his true "wheels of independence", a handicapped accessible van. Rick required many hospitalizations as a child due to his numerous fractures, including 2 prolonged hospitalizations at Shriners Children's Hospital in Springfield, MA to correct bony deformities in his legs. In addition to family camping trips, Rick attended the Rotary sponsored Camp Star, making many lifelong friends with many campers & camp counselors. Rick was an active part of the Class of 1976 at Edison, serving as vice president of his freshman class, president of his sophomore class, president of the Student Council his senior year, treasurer of Concert Band & Boys' Choir. He also participated in sports (yes, sports) as timekeeper for the girls volleyball team, team manager of the boys basketball team all 4 years & team manager of the girls basketball team one year. Rick's participation paved the way for students with disabilities to participate in athletics at TAE & Chemung County. Rick was inducted into the Elmira Heights Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. His family always encouraged & strongly supported Rick's personal goal of independence. Rick graduated from Thomas A Edison High School in 1976 and received his AA degree in Business Administration from SUNY Morrisville in 1979. He moved to Jefferson City, MO in the 1980's and continued his studies. He received his BS in Business Administration in 1987 from Columbia College in Columbia, MO where he also pursed graduate studies in Public Administration. While living in Missouri he worked as an Independent Living Specialist for Opportunities Unlimited, developing and instituting the Handicapped Parking Program for the city of Columbia, MO. He also worked as a program specialist for the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities. He was extremely proud of his position as Administrative Assistant with the Missouri Governor's Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities. This required extensive involvement working as a liaison with state & federal agencies, as well as writing legislation to promote independent living programs for the disabled. During his employment Rick was directly involved in the passing of House Bill 1196, House Bill 493 & Senate Bill 88. Rick was named to the National Distinguished Service Registry in 1989 and was presented with the Missouri Governor's Trophy in March 1990 in recognition of his work under Governor John Ashcroft. Rick returned to the Elmira Heights area in 1991 with continued dedication to the rights of the disabled. This included various positions with Easter Seals of Chemung County, United Cerebral Palsy of Chemung County, and Access to Independence & Mobility (AIM) in Elmira, NY. He also was very active in many community organizations and served on various committees in Elmira, Elmira Heights & Horseheads, as well as the State of New York (Chemung County Rehabilitation Council, International Year of Disabled Persons Committee, Chemung County Commission on Human Relations, Elmira Heights Rotary Club, City of Elmira School District PAL Program and the New York State Rehabilitation Advisory Council). There will be a Celebration of Life later this summer and the family looks forward to sharing your memories of "Ricky". Donations in Rick Beck's name can be made to Camp Star (Southern Tier Area Rotary Camp Star) or to Shriners Children's Hospital in Springfield, MA. Arrangements are entrusted to the LYNCH FUNERAL HOME 318 WEST BROAD STREET HORSEHEADS, NY. Words of Condolence and Memories may be shared at
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