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home : obituaries : obituaries June 29, 2015

4/14/2012 10:18:00 PM
Obituary: Wayne Emil Beck, M.D.
Wayne Emil Beck, M.D.
Wayne Emil Beck, M.D.

Wayne Emil Beck, M.D., of Prescott, Ariz., ascended into heaven on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012, where he could comfortably watch his grandchildren hunt for Easter eggs.

Wayne was the 11th child of Nelson and Louise Beck, born at their home in Tucson, Ariz., on Sept. 16, 1946. When asked about being the youngest of 11, Wayne would smile and say it took 11 attempts to achieve perfection.

His family relocated to a farm in Glendale, Ariz., where he raised 4H animals, swam in irrigation ditches, ate watermelons from the fields in the summertime and developed a love of the land.

He lost his father at 9 years of age and moved in with his older sister, Karen Dennis, and her family. Having already developed an independent nature and strong desire to be self-reliant, Wayne supported himself as a paperboy, working evenings at Bashas Grocery in the meat department and on the loading docks of a local garment factory.

Glendale High School was a special place where football and wrestling provided a competitive outlet, and participation in FFA and student government allowed for personal growth. He was awarded the Future Farmers of America State Farmer of the Year award in 1964, served as state treasurer 1964-1965 and won a national speaking contest in 1964. He traveled the state visiting chapters and forming lifelong friendships. His weekends were spent working, cruising Central Avenue in his 1955 Chevy or hanging out with friends at spur-of-the-moment street dances held in the cotton fields around Glendale.

In 1964, he enrolled at the University of Arizona and, thus, he became "A WILDCAT FOR LIFE"!

He lived in the Aggie House with other young men from rural Arizona and was a member of ROTC attaining the rank of Army captain. As a University of Arizona student, he was chief justice of the Men's Judicial System and a senator for the College of Agriculture. He earned a BA in animal science (1968), an MS in animal science/biochemistry (1970) while working as a graduate researcher and instructor, followed by a medical doctorate (1975). He completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Maricopa County Medical Center in Phoenix in 1978.

In 1979, he moved his family to Prescott, Ariz., a town he had developed an affinity for as a young child. He and his partner Robert Abt, M.D., opened Prescott Women's Clinic. For him it was a privilege to care for the women of Prescott and he was honored for the opportunity to do so. He cherished the relationships that developed over the years with his patients and staff. He would rejoice over the birth of a child or shed tears in times of sorrow. When physical conditions forced his retirement, his first thoughts were of how much he would miss delivering babies and the surgical side of his practice. Later he realized what he really missed was the doctor/patient relationships and the friendships that meant so much to him during his 33 years of private practice. Wayne was recognized as one of America's top obstetrician/gynecologists from 2002-2006.

Always striving to provide his patients and the community with the best possible care, he was a founding member and president of the Prescott Outpatient Surgery Center as well as director of the Bagdad Clinic located in Bagdad, Ariz., which he took over operations of in 1980. This allowed him to connect with the people of Bagdad and provide them access to the best healthcare providers.

Wayne loved Mexico and, through his associations in the medical community, he saw an opportunity to help. The acquisition of the clinic in Bagdad and the remodeling of the Prescott Outpatient Surgery Center resulted in semis full of medical equipment that through the help of the Lion's Club of Puerto Penasco were donated to the hospitals in Rocky Point. This was a lifelong activity with the family routinely picking up supplies and delivering them to Mexico. Wayne was honored by many of the service clubs in Rocky Point and the mayor for his contribution to their community.

In later years, he renewed his connections with the U of A. He was a founding member of the College of Agriculture Alumni Council and currently serves on the board. Additionally, he served on the UA Alumni Association Board of Directors as well as the College of Medicine Board of Directors and was the founder and president of the College of Medicine Alumni Council. In 2010, he was awarded The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award. Yes, he bleeds Red and Blue.

Wayne also enjoyed expanding his knowledge in the business world. He was a founder of County Bank and served as the president of the board of directors. His love of land and opportunity led to numerous real estate and business development partnerships with friends and family throughout the state of Arizona including part owner and member of the board of directors for Arizona Land Advisors, Everest Holdings and Lobo Ranches as well as the founder and president of Beck Legacy Group.

Wayne was married to Nelda Northen. Wayne and Nelda met in grade school and enjoyed a friendship through their high school years that grew into a love that lasted a lifetime. He often referred to her as his best friend. Together they raised three children, Kimberli, Dane and Inga. He felt the best gifts he could give them were unconditional love and independence. He welcomed his sons-in-law Levi and Don into the family and was touched by the love, compassion and joy they brought to his daughters' lives. He was known to his grandchildren as "Babu," a Swahili word for grandfather. His face would light up at the mention of their names and he loved to watch their young personalities develop as they ran from one adventure to the next.

Wayne was passionate about life and being part of the community. He believed that accomplishments mean little if one does not help those that follow achieve their dreams, always a mentor.

He spent his time off traveling to all parts of the Southwest and Mexico to fish with friends, explore or learn more about the geology that made this land so remarkable. The Colorado River was especially important to him from trips to Lake Powell, rafting the Colorado River or spending time on the Sea of Cortez. We will miss watching him as he worked crossword puzzles thinking of his next great idea or playing with his dogs that put his mind and body at ease.

He is survived by his wife Nelda; children Kim (Don) Lee, Dane Beck, Inga (Levi) Brchan; grandchildren Gage Lee, Brayden Lee, Sydnee Lee, Beau Brchan, Finn Brchan and Clayton Brchan; sisters Susie Fox, Ruthie Stafford and Karen Dennis; and brother Hank Beck as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Wayne was a hugger who lived life in a big way, loved big and whose absence has left a big hole in our hearts.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Prescott Education Foundation, 125 N. Granite St., Prescott, AZ 86301. All funds donated are tax deductible and will be used for the creation of the Dr. Wayne Beck Scholarship Fund to benefit Prescott graduates with a focus on students enrolling at the University of Arizona. Also, contributions can be made to the Yavapai College Foundation for students in the nursing program, 1100 E. Sheldon St. Prescott, AZ 86301.

With respect to Wayne's wishes, no formal funeral ceremony is planned.

Please visit www.hamptonfuneralhome.com to sign Wayne's guestbook or go to Wayne Beck on Facebook to share memories with the family.

Information provided by survivors.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012
Article comment by: Ernest Gay

Delivered both of our children 26 and 27 years ago, he was a very good doctor and a good man
He will be missed by all

Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Article comment by: Capri Barney

Wayne Beck - you will be missed. I feel blessed to have known you , first as my doctor, then through your involvement at Land Advisors Organization, but most importantly as my friend. My heart goes out to your family and the many others whose lives you have touched.

Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Article comment by: JOAN ZEGLIN


Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Article comment by: Christi Edwards

Back in 1979, I was 6 months pregnant with our first baby. Trying to find an OB doc, I was standing at the Courthouse, at lunchtime, calling different offices. A man answered the phone for the Prescott Women's Clinic. He asked if I was sure if I was pregnant and stated he would make me an appointment for a hour later. This man made me laugh. At one point Dr Beck told me who he was and stated, "I normally don't answer the phone but my nurses are out to lunch...Oh, please don't tell them I said that." He delivered all 4 of my children. Thank you Nelda and family for sharing such a wonderful man. He will truly be missed and again so will his hugs.

Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Article comment by: Tricia Stazenski

Dr. Beck and Dr. Abt were my first Doctors as an adult, I remember that Dr. Beck could always make me smile even when I was in pain. I never felt so Comfortable telling some one my personal problems befor, but there was just something about Dr. Beck that you knew you could just trust. He will be missed! my prayers are with his wife and family.

Posted: Saturday, April 21, 2012
Article comment by: Lucy Rodarte

My sympathy and condolences to Mrs. Beck and Family. Now I have to figure out things for myself. Dr. Beck helped me through many things. I loved this man. I looked up to him. He was caring and loving and was always ready with a hug.

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2012
Article comment by: Lisa Whiting

Dr. Beck was such a wonderful man! He delivered both of my boys and our first grand daughter! He was so caring and always ready with that hug, when you needed it the most!. I once asked him why I hadn't gotten a handbook or instruction manual on how to handle those boys of mine...he just smiled and said, "The nurses must have forgotten to give you that when you left the hospital." He will missed so much. He was a treasure to all that came in contact with him...and had the privledge of having him as their Dr. My prayers are with his family.

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2012
Article comment by: Rose Marie Vicente Pedregon

Nelda, Kim, Dane, and Inga, my heart is broken to have lost not only one of the finest doctors ever, but a wonderful friend as well. this man was one of the kindest human beings i have ever known. Heaven opened the door to the best and recieved him with open arms. thank you for sharing Dr. Beck with the vicente family.

Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Article comment by: Rebecca Wilson

One of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever met in my life. He will be missed terribly by so many.

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Article comment by: Margene Fettig

Doctor Beck was my doctor for many years when I lived in Arizona & delivered my youngest child. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing.

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Article comment by: Kathy Sircy

I first met Dr. Beck as a company representative in Bagdad in 2005. This business relationship immediately became a friendship and even a doctor/patient relationship when Dr. Beck performed surgery on me. When he recommended surgery for me I didn’t even think about it for a minute. I went to the front desk at his practice and scheduled it immediately. I trusted Dr. Beck’s judgment implicitly. During the five years that I lived in Bagdad I changed jobs several times where I no longer had community responsibilities. I still went to visit with Dr. Beck and the staff every two weeks when he would make his regular visits. I was always greeted in the same fashion…with his big hug. He never failed to ask how I had been and how my family had been. He was truly interested in my life. Every time I brought a new person to meet him his response was always the same…we are here to serve. When I left he would hug me again and always tell me that he loved me and how much he appreciated me.
As I read his obituary and all of the tributes that have been coming in I realize that Dr. Beck treated everyone as he treated me…like family. What an amazing and wonderful person! I really was truly blessed to have been touched by this special human being.
My prayers and love are with Nelda and the Beck family. May God bless you and keep you in his loving care during this difficult time. I want to thank you as other have for sharing my friend, Dr. Beck with me.

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: Clayton Doak

Dr. Beck was my wife's uncle. After retirement her parents, Nelson and Nora Beck moved to Prescott Valley in 1989 from Pittsburgh, PA, and that is when I met Uncle Wayne. I will remember him as a warm, caring person who seemed to love his family and Arizona. I am fortunate to have met him. Best wishes and condolences from the Doak family in Ohio.

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: God Bless Dr. Beck and his Family

For many, many years, I relied on Dr. Beck for excellent medical care and unflagging kindness. Reflecting on his profound contributions, I am deeply appreciative of him.

I also appreciate his wife and children, knowing that every moment he spent serving patients were moments he was unable to be with them. Not even Dr. Beck could be two places at one time.

This sacrificial doctor, and his sacrificial family, have made their mark on countless others. All that warmth and love will reverberate for generations.

God used Dr. Beck mightily in many lives. Thank you, Beck family, for sharing this unique man with the rest of us.

I suggest we who are grateful now pay those famous hugs forward in his, and his family's, honor.

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: Noella Putnam

Wow, such a great loss of a great doctor, and wonderful human being. Dr Beck delivered my second daughter, though he had not planned too. He was the PWC doctor on call that night. Well I did progress but not fast enough. So in the morning he did something to speed it up, my comment are you sure? So he goes to the office for appointments, and Dr Abt gets an emergency surgery. Well poor Dr Beck gets called back and delivers my daughter 20 minutes later. We laughed so hard over that, and he teased me about not being trusted again. He was just a funny and wonderful man. He held my hand and hugged me through three pregnancy losses. And rejoiced when we had our third daughter. There will never be another like him. God bless you sir.

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: Elizabeth May

Doctor Beck delivered my precious daughter. He gave me excellent care. I was high risk and he stopped my labor three times. When I finally had her, it was a piece of cake, just like he said it would be. He worked so hard, it's a miracle that he lived as long as he did. God Bless the family. I'm so sorry for your great loss... but I hope that you take some comfort in knowing the difference that your beloved made in so many lives.

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Debbie McMann

April 2nd, 1981, I met Dr. Beck at Yavapai delivering my 12# baby boy Dallas. He delivered him emergency C-Section. I worked at the Hospital and know he was a great doctor. He will always hold a special place in our family. My prayers to the family of such a wonderful man. Debbie McMann

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Kirsten McKaskle

My dear friend - smiling down on me with the angels now. You loved me most of my life - and I was blessed for it. I'll miss you -

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Tammy Sutle

I will miss him he was my friend for 3 pregnancies. He is going to be dearly missed. God Speed my friend. My deepest sympathy to his family.

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Randi Ogle

He was the best and most caring dr. I have ever met. He delivered my youngest daughter, who will be 30 years old on Friday. May peace and great memories help the family through this time.

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Marilyn Markham Petrich, RN

Dr. Beck had the biggest mutton-chops of any man in the late 1970s I'd ever seen! And a heart to go with it, too. I was very fortunate to have started at Prescott Women's Clinic with Dr. Beck and Dr. Abt in 1979 and to have so many wonderful years there. They treated both their patients and nurses well, and we always felt like a big family. Families have fun together and fight, some, too! I remember thoroughly giving Dr. Beck a piece of my mind in his office, as he leaned back in his chair, watching the show. Years later with age, I realized how lucky I'd been not to be fired!
Not enough can be said about his love of all people and how much he did for others, whether they were under his care or not.
Nelda, Kim, Dane and Inga, my heart is with you and your family at this difficult time. They don't make 'em like they used to.

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Jeanna Severance

How sad I was to learn of "Doc Beck"'s passing. I cannot begin to tell his family what he meant to me. Not only did he deliver my 2 daughters (he missed my son's birth because he was elk hunting...how could I be mad at him for that??) but he helped me through some other issues not only in a professional manner but in a compassionate and truly caring way as well, and I can't imagine getting through those situations without him. Always greeted with a hug and made you feel like you were important to him...and I think we were. He was just like that. The biggest heart in the world. The world has truly lost a treasure. Men like him are few and far between and I am honored to be able to say I knew him. God Bless his memory and may God be with you all as you mourn his death.

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Cyndi Arbona

The world has lost another fine man.
He made a positive imprint on so many lives over the years - the number must be staggering ... unfathomable. He truly has left a legacy that anyone would be proud of and he'll never be forgotten.
Personally, it's sad to think that we'll never see that look he could get on his face again, hear one of his fishing stories or receive another of his world class hugs. My heart goes out to his family. I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Dianne Powers

I am so saddened with the loss of Dr. Beck, He was a special man, friend and mentor who I had the priveledge of working with along with his children. He was also my Doctor when I lived in Prescott and I will never forget his "hug" every time he walked in. It was his trademark.
I know that Nelda and the kids are sad but also at peace that he is not suffering and they can live with the great legacy he created.
There will never be another like him and I will miss him.
"Take the High Road" Dr. Beck like you always did,

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Andy Newton

My condolences to Nelda and his family, all of them. He delivered all 3 of my daughters, was a good friend and professional collegue. He was one truly nice guy in every way. I hope I see you again someday Wayne. God bless.

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Lynn Greene

Dr. Beck delivered both of my daughters. He helped me with other issues besides babies. He helped save my sister's life when she came down with diabetes, working hard to find out what was wrong with her and recommending the right doctor to care for her. I missed seeing him since his retirement, and missed my hug.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

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