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Silver Taps Notification

Marvin Beck '53 October 2, 2020 12:15 PM updated: October 2, 2020 12:59 PM

Marvin Eugene Beck
May 19, 1932 – September 30, 2020

Born May 19, 1932, in Schulenberg, Texas, Marvin E. Beck died peacefully at home on September 30, 2020 in Bastrop, Texas. Marvin was the steadfast and dedicated husband of the late Anne P. Beck for 59 years and a continuous inspiration to his three daughters: DeAndra Beck (Mark Reimers), Sondra (Richard) Black, and Danalee (Bob) Wise. He was “Papa” to grandchildren Taylor and Dylan Nelson and Austin, Colton, Braden, and Laney Wise. Marvin was predeceased by parents Patricia P. (Fertsch) and Alfons J. Beck and brothers Charles Beck and Calvin Beck. He is survived by siblings Patricia Carleton, Harold Beck, and Joan Wilton.

Architect, artist, craftsman, veteran, Mason, community leader, philanthropist, investor, businessman, traveler, fisherman, and family man, Marvin’s many talents were honed at an early age. Growing up impoverished during the Great Depression, Marvin’s first job was running a paper route in Waelder, Texas at age 6 ½. As an adolescent and teen, he held a myriad of jobs in order to earn spending money and to help his family. After graduating as salutatorian of Waelder High School, he enrolled in Texas A&M and studied architecture and engineering for two years before running out of money to complete his education. After leaving Texas A&M, he worked as an oilfield roughneck and sign painter before joining the Air Force Security Services, learning Russian at Syracuse University and being deployed to Germany to compile intelligence reports on Russian communications. After completing his Air Force duties, Marvin credited the G.I. Bill for allowing him to enroll in the University of Texas (UT) to complete his architectural degree. At UT, he was an outstanding student leader whose accolades included President of the Student AIA, UT Student Government, Tejas Club, Silver Spurs, dormitory resident advisor, Tau Zigma Delta honoree, and Alpha Rho Chi medal recipient.

After college, Marvin married Anne, started a family, and developed his architectural career working in a number of prominent firms in Dallas. Notably, he was named project architect for the pioneering Northpark Shopping Center while at Harrell & Hamilton Architects (OMNIPLAN). In 1968, he founded and managed his own Dallas-based architectural practice, Marvin E. Beck and Associates, designing hotels, retail establishments, garden office complexes, and residential buildings. Splendidly designed buildings notwithstanding, Marvin considered the greatest accomplishment of his architectural career to be his commitment to train young architects. After 18 years of managing his architectural firm, he and Anne retired to Austin, Texas and then a decade later moved to Bastrop, Texas where Marvin designed - and he and Anne built - their country home near Bastrop State Park. When their lovely park home was burned in the Bastrop Complex Fire, Marvin designed and built a new home in the Colony in Bastrop.

Marvin’s “retirement” was filled with philanthropical undertakings: designing structures at the historic Fairview Cemetery in Bastrop, serving on boards for the Bastrop Fine Arts Guild, the Bastrop County Historical Society, the Bastrop County Food Pantry and the Bastrop First United Methodist Church. He and Anne received a Point of Light award from the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce for their dedicated community service. Because of his own financial struggles to obtain a college degree, he and Anne generously established a number of educational scholarships.

Marvin and Anne loved traveling, in early years throughout the U.S. in a station wagon packed to the hilt with girls; suitcases; and a cooler full of picnic supplies, beer, and summer sausage. After retirement, they traveled throughout Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean. Marvin had a hedonistic love of all things pickled, smoked, and brewed! His individually designed Christmas cards, pen and ink drawings, rock art, woodworking, and art collecting reflected the breadth of his artistic talents.

Marvin was a man of uncommon integrity, generosity, work ethic, and unwavering commitment to a shared societal obligation. In his beautiful architectural script, Marvin wrote out longhand much of his life story for his children and grandchildren, including thoughts for his eulogy. He wrote that an individual’s lifespan on earth is short and can be measured in varying terms, but each of us can create a spirit or ethos through our assistance to others, hopefully becoming engrained and perpetuated as a legacy for future generations. Bequests to honor Marvin’s legacy may be made to any of his named scholarships or to an educational organization of your choice: Marvin and Anne Beck Presidential Endowed Scholarship at Texas A&M University, Patricia Fertsch Beck Educational Scholarship at Texas State University, Marvin E. and Anne Price Beck Endowed Scholarship at the University of Texas School of Architecture, Anne Beck Memorial Scholarship of the Bastrop Democratic Party, Marvin and Anne Beck Scholarship Fund at the Bastrop First United Methodist Church. In lieu of a public gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic, the family will organize and announce a virtual celebration of life with details to be shared on social media.

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