Russell H. Beckwith, 90, passed away at L&M Hospital on September 4, 2010. Born on January 8, 1920 in New London, CT, to Ethel H. and Howard E. Beckwith, he attended the Bulkeley School graduating in 1938 and Mitchell College in 1941. He married Ruth E. Simons, daughter of William and Lea Simons on November 15, 1942. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 serving in WWII until 1943. After honorable discharge, Russell inherited Gates & Beckwith, begun by his father in 1918. After 65 years the business was sold. He established Decorating Services Inc. that he operated for 10 years until his retirement in 1991.
Russell served as President of the New London Lions Club, Thames Club and Painting and Decorating Association, CT Chapter. He was on the Mitchell College Board of Trustees for 51 years, and several other college committees. He was a founding board member of Twin Haven Elderly Housing as well as serving on the East Lyme Commission for the Aging. As a resident of Oswegatchie Hills Park, he served as Club President and chairman of the membership, tennis and several other committees.
A devoted parishioner of St. John's Episcopal Church of Niantic, Russell was Lay Chair and Sr. Warden of the Vestry; ushered for over 40 years; served on the building committee for the new church and helped to establish a Memorial Garden at the parish.
He is survived by his wife Ruth S. Beckwith of Niantic. He was predeceased by his daughter Susan Beckwith Pfanner. He is also survived by daughters Deborah Beckwith Sullivan (Michael) of Niantic, Diane Beckwith Sullivan of Burke, VA and Shirley Beckwith of Newport, RI, grandchildren Jill Pfanner Lloyd (Jay) and Robert D. Pfanner (Rachel) of East Lyme, Christopher and Amie Sullivan of VA, as well as a great granddaughter Morgan Lloyd.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to East Lyme Twin Haven, 39 Upper Pattagansett Road, EL 06333; The Friends of Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve,P.O. Box 163, Niantic, CT 06357 or the Memorial Garden at St. John's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 810, Niantic, CT 06357. Calling hours will be held at 10am and service in thanksgiving for Russell's life with Holy Communion at 11am on September 9th at St. John's Episcopal Church, 400 Main Street, Niantic.