Ralph R. Beckett (1925-2014)
On February 12th, 2014 Ralph R. Beckett, received his wings for God's squadron of angles, He truly loved to fly for business and pleasure, especially flying the Baja and going to his place in Punta Final, where he and our mom, Irene would spend many days enjoying the sun and surf.
Ralph Roland Beckett (1925-2014) went to join Irene Beckett (1925-2007), his wife for 65 years in the hereafter. Ralph spent his last years in the care of Yuma Nursing Home and his last 2 weeks with the help of Hospice of Yuma, all of whom we want to thank for their loving help.
Ralph came to Arizona in 1925, the year of his birth in Greenville, Texas, with his mother and older brother Howard, following their father Ralph E. Beckett, where they eventually lived in the Bard area where Ralph senior worked for the USDA and helped build the Yuma Arid Desert Experimental Farm now known as the Monkey Farm. At the farm they planted miniature coconuts and other exotic plants, strangely enough all of the plants grew except the Coconuts. The story is that 2 monkeys dug them up and ate them, Ralph and Howard were said to have spent a lot of time looking for the monkeys, but never found them. Ralph went to school in Yuma attending Yuma High School before marrying his sweet heart and joining the U.S. Army in 1943. Once in the Army he volunteered for the Army Air Corps, where he became a pilot and eventually a trainer in the B25 Bombers. After the war he returned to Yuma and while working for Beeler and Thomas Equipment some time in 1947 he and Dean Haughtelin started B&H Refrigeration Company. As the company grew Ralph became the sole owner and grew it with Dean and many others helped it grow into one of the oldest and best Refrigeration Companies in the southwest area.
Ralph was also known for racing cars from High School Model A's and B's, in the 1940's with other young mechanically inclined students at Yuma High school (darn those Hansberger Boys) to Micro Midgets in the 1950's to drag cars and stock cars in the 1960's to Dwarf Cars in the 1980's and Sand Drag cars in the 1990's.
Ralph also loved flying and was one of the early members of Yuma Soaring Club. He and Ken Hansberger, with lots of help from others, built a High Performance Glider which they both flew once and then sold. After that he started picking up small planes for towing the gliders and flying for fun and business in central Arizona and California and for fun into Mexico, down both sides of Gulf of California especially to Punta Final in the south end of Gonzaga Bay where they had a cabin on the beach. Ralph continued to run B&H until 1997 when he retired to take care of Irene until her passing in 2007. Ralph continued as the Chairman of the board at B&H.
Ralph was preceded in death by his mother, Ula Lee Beckett; his father, Ralph Edwin Beckett; his older brother, Howard Beckett; his grandsons, Dale Beckett and David French. He is survived by his youngest brother John Beckett; Ralph's daughter, Ellen (Beckett) French (husband John); sons, Tim Beckett (wife Evelyn), Robert Beckett (wife Mona), Rodney Beckett, Mark Beckett; 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Thank you Dad, you are #1 and we all love you.
At Ralph's request there will be no services. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations or gifts to Hospice of Yuma.Arrangements under the direction of Johnson Mortuary & Desert Lawn Memorial Park, Yuma, AZ.