BENKELMAN -- Vernon "Vern" Ray Beckman, of Benkelman, Neb., died Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008, at the Dundy County Hospital in Benkelman, at the age of 72.
He was born in Norfolk, Neb., to Willie and Emma (Stork) Beckman, on December 25, 1935, and grew up on the family farm near Madison, Neb., where he lived until he joined the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division.
Vern and his family lived and worked in Norfolk, Pilger, and Benkelman as a farmer/rancher. In 1979, he entered into a new adventure when he and his family opened and operated the Circle "B" Restaurant and Lounge and the Motor Lodge, until their retirement in 1999.
Vern celebrated life and enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, hunting, camping, traveling, music, dancing, watching Husker football, and most of all, spending time with all his family.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Willie and Emma (Stork) Beckman; step-mother, Anne (Deiter) Beckman; and step-sister, Delores Cook.
He is survived by his loving wife of more than 48 years, Sharalyn (James) Beckman of Benkelman, Neb.; daughters, Victoria Kozak and husband, Larry of Fort Collins, Colo., Linda McKain and husband, Gary of Benkelman, Neb., Sandra Dugger and husband, Troy of Torrington, Wyo., Tracy Ries and husband, Richard of Ord, Neb., Pamela Tyson and husband, Patrick of Sidney, Neb.; nine grandchildren; 3 great-granddaughters; and many other family members and close friends.
The family will receive friends today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Forch Funeral Chapel in Benkelman. There will be no viewing.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008, at 10:30 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Benkelman with the Rev. George Matthews officiating. Services will conclude at the church. The family will gather for a private inurnment at a later time.
In lieu of usual remembrances, it is suggested that memorials be given in Vern's name.
On-line condolences will reach the family at www.forch.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.