Kenneth R. Beck

Thursday , August 09, 2018 - 10:00 PM

March 8, 1924 ~ July 28, 2018

After many comforting visits from family, Kenneth R. Beck, 94, of Pierre, SD, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2018. He was born to Theodore and Elizabeth Beck on March 8, 1924, in Ogden, Utah, one of four children.

Ken had a passion for football and snow skiing and still found time to graduate from Ogden High School in 1942. After graduation, he attended Weber State College in Ogden prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1943. Ken then trained for two years at Camp Hale in the mountains of Colorado with the Special Forces 10th Mountain Division and was deployed to Italy with the 86th Infantry Division, Company B, to serve in WWII. As a lifelong member of the 10th Mountain Division Association, Ken made and kept many lifelong friendships. Ken was proud to have served his country.

Ken's love of snow skiing brought him to Sun Valley, Idaho, where he worked for nine winters, first as a ski instructor and then ski patrol. During the summer months, he worked as a locomotive fireman in Alaska. It was at Sun Valley that he met his bride-to-be, the love of his life, Marilyn Dondelinger. They married May of 1957, in her hometown of Brainerd, MN, and began their life together in Spokane, WA. They then moved to Grand Junction, CO, where they owned and operated the City Center Motel for 11 years and became parents of five children. In 1969, the family moved to Pierre, SD, and purchased the Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Cadillac Dealership. Ken enjoyed the car business for 35 years before handing the reins over to his sons, Steve and Trace.

Ken and Marilyn made treasured memories spending winters in Colorado and Arizona, traveling the world, and enjoying time with their family and friends. One of their most treasured memories is their balloon safari to Mount Kenya Safari Club in East Africa that was topped off with a return flight on the Concorde Super Sonic Transport.

Ken is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn, of 61 years; their five children: Trace (Lynn), Sue (Todd) Douglas, Roger (Angela), Steven (Jami), and Cynthia (Joe) Kincs; 14 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Carol Salmon of Ogden, UT. Ken is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Mid Holloway; and his brother, Bob Beck.

A funeral mass was held Friday, August 3, 2018, at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Pierre, SD.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.