Eugene Griffin Beckman, Jr. ’53

Eugene Griffin Beckman, Jr. ’53, known to his friends as “Jiffie,” age 78, of Columbia, S.C., passed away Aug. 10, 2011, after a lengthy illness. He died peacefully surrounded by his loving family. He was born Nov. 26, 1932, to the late Eugene and Natalie Beckman. He attended Davidson. He retired from service in the state of South Carolina government having served in the administrations of Governor Carol Campbell, Governor David Beasley, and, for a short time, Governor Mark Sanford. For his service to the state of South Carolina, he was awarded The Order of the Palmetto by Governor Campbell and by Governor Beasley. At the time of his death, he was serving as the executive director of the South Carolina Physicians Healthcare Charity. He was a devoted churchman during his life, serving as an elder at Indiantown Presbyterian Church, Shandon Presbyterian Church, and Forest Lake Presbyterian Church, and taught Sunday school for more than 40 years. He had a great love of music and served as choir director at Indiantown Presbyterian Church and as a choir member at Forest Lake Presbyterian Church. He served on many committees within the Presbyterian Church, taking a very active role in the reconciliation of the northern and southern branches to form the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. He was a member of the Indiantown Lodge #165 in Hemingway, S.C. He received the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Degrees and received the 32° in Columbia, S.C., on June 3, 1989. The Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite in Washington, D.C., recognized and honored him with his election as a 32° Knight Commander of the Court of Honor on Oct. 18,1993, and again he was elected to receive the 33° and Last Degree on Oct. 30,1999. He served on the Columbia Board of Directors for the E.C. Singleton Rite Care Center, which serves preschool aged children with speech and language services, and was elected to the board of trustees of the Scottish Rite Foundation of South Carolina and served as secretary. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, the former Gwendolyn Wilson, 6034 Woodvine Rd., Columbia, SC 29206-4350. He has a son, Eugene Griffin Beckman III (Shannon); two daughters, Rebecca Beckman Hill (Thomas) and Cynthia Beckman Hansen (Henning); five grandchildren, Rebecca Elizabeth Johnson (Brandon), Carson Eugene Beckman (Toshya), Jonathan Cooper Beckman, Trey Hill (Allison), and Kristen Hill Colvin (Kevin); great-grandchildren, Caiden Eugene Beckman, Braydon Eugene Johnson, Ben, Adam, and Ian Colvin, and Brendan and Sarah Hill; and a sister-in-law, Carol Beckman. He was preceded in death by his brother, William Peter Beckman ’60. He was much loved by his family, who will miss him until the day they all meet again with Christ in eternity.