Obituary of Margaret A. Beckman
Margaret A. “Peggy” Beckman, 95, of Westfield, New York, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at her long-time winter home of Mission, Texas.
She was born in New York City on March 1, 1927, the second child of J. Arthur and Margery (Mills) Jones. The young family soon returned to Chateaugay, New York, to work the family dairy farm on Jones Road, where 14 more children followed. It was a busy house and Peggy learned lifelong lessons in hard work, daily routines, and being engaged with her community. As a sixth grader, she decided to become a gym teacher, so after graduating from Chateaugay High School, she worked her way through Cortland State Teachers College where she earned her degree in Physical Education and Health Education, graduating in 1948.
She landed a job as a physical education teacher in Westfield, New York, and quickly established herself in her new hometown. It was there she met Seymour “Sym” Beckman, who was home after serving his country in World War II and was working in the family construction business. They dated while he attended George Washington University and following his graduation they married on August 28, 1953, the same year she was named Miss Chautauqua County.
Over the next twenty years she and Sym made homes in Washington, D.C., Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, and Timonium, Maryland, and together they raised four sons. Westfield was never too far away, first with visits home while Sym’s parents were still alive, and later taking the boys there for summers in the family house on Beckman Avenue. In 1972, the family moved back to Westfield full time and Peggy’s community involvement came into full bloom.
She taught at Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk, New York and later in Westfield in a variety of roles, including supervising students sent to in-school suspension. Her discipline was legendary and a strong deterrent against repeat offenses. She chaired the Village of Westfield Zoning Board of Appeals, served on the Board of the YWCA, was an officer of the Union Relief Association, and a member of Westfield Memorial Hospital Ladies Auxiliary. She volunteered extensively, including at McClurg Museum and the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department’s Ox Roast up until last year. In Mission, she actively supported the women’s shelter, Women Together (Mujeres Unidas) and volunteered at many of the activities held in her park. She had a strong faith and was very active in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Westfield and St. Peter & St. Paul Episcopal Church in Mission.
She made dear friends everywhere she went, and remarkably kept in touch despite her aversion to modern technologies. She loved sports and games of all kinds, collected antiques, and made quilts. Most of all she loved a good story, was quick with a laugh, and bragged on her boys beyond anything they deserved. She was preceded in death by her beloved Sym on January 22, 2004, after they had celebrated fifty years of marriage. She was also preceded in death by her parents and siblings Jimmy, Emma, Mary, Kate, Anna, Billy, Helen, David, and Jerry.
Peggy is survived by sons Douglas (Kathy) Beckman of The Woodlands, Texas, Dr. Thomas (Kathi) Beckman of New Albany, Ohio, Steven (Carrie) Beckman of Erie, Pennsylvania, and Daniel (Emelie) Beckman of Wenham, Massachusetts; grandchildren Erin (Josh), Kelly (Mike), David, Jackson, Matthew, Lauren, Elizabeth, Hannah (Matt), Ted, and Jennifer; Simon, a great grandchild; siblings Bobby Jones, Frank Jones, Nancy Koti, Diane Podwirny, Jean Fall, and Judy Earl; and many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends may call at the Mason Funeral Home, 37 Clinton St. Westfield, New York, on Thursday February 9th, from 5:00 – 8:00pm. A funeral service will be held Friday, February 10th at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 12 Elm St. Westfield at 11:00am. There will be additional visitation from 10:00am until the time of services on Friday. Following a reception at the church, a private interment will be held at Westfield Cemetery.
Memorials may be made in Peggy’s name to Patterson Library or St. Peter’s Church in Westfield. Please share remembrances and condolences at www.masonfuneral.com.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Margaret Beckman, please visit Tribute Store