gentle, kind, faith-filled father, grandfather, and friend
Gordon Lynn Beckstrand passed away peacefully at his home
on August 29, 2016. Gordon was born on November 21, 1928
to Eva Lovell and John Milton Beckstrand in Meadow, Utah,
where he spent the first eighteen years of his life. Gordon
graduated from Millard High School in 1946, where he played
football for the mighty Eagles. He ran track at Branch Agricultural
College (now SUU), placing 4th in the 400-meter Junior College
Gordon married the love of his life, Norma Spencer, on
June 16, 1948 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They were always
on the move, going wherever the educational opportunities
or jobs took them, touching countless lives wherever they
lived, including: Meadow, UT; Castle Dale, UT; Ithaca, NY;
Madison, WI; Logan, UT; Richfield, UT; East Lansing, MI;
Fort Collins, CO; Washington DC; Mogadishu, Somalia; Cairo,
Egypt; Leeds, UT; Alpine, UT; and Lehi, UT.
Gordon received his Bachelor of Science degree from Utah
State Agricultural College in 1950 then worked in extension
services in Weber, Emery, and Cache counties. He went on
to earn his Master’s from Cornell University and PhD
from the University of Wisconsin in 1959. After graduation,
his career included responsibility for 4H Extension programs
in Utah, Michigan, and Colorado. Later in his career, he
worked in Washington D.C. for the Federal Extension Service.
Gordon completed two overseas assignments in the Federal
Extension Service in Mogadishu, Somalia and Cairo, Egypt.
Gordon spent his life serving others. He served as bishop
of the Lansing 2nd Ward in East Lansing, Michigan and faithfully
held many other callings in the LDS Church. He was an exceptional
and faithful home teacher and had a significant influence
on all those he visited. Gordon and Norma served four LDS
missions together: Co-Directors, St. George Member Locator
Center; Guides, St. George Historical Sites; Coordinators,
St. George Temple Baptistry; Missionaries, St. George Temple
Gordon was a talented musician, paying for much of his
education by singing professionally, and accordingly, the
Beckstrand home was filled with music. Gordon and Norma
frequently sang and performed together with their sons.
Each of their sons grew up with a deep love of music.
Gordon had the special ability to show charity from a pure
heart. He truly was without guile, and everyone who knew
him loved him dearly. His greatest legacy is his devotion
to his beloved wife, Norma, and his posterity. Family meant
everything to Gordon, and he showed it by the way he lived
and loved all of us. He taught and exemplified kindness,
charity, and meekness. Gordon’s most precious possession
was his testimony of the restored gospel of the Lord Jesus
Christ. He shared it unapologetically and often.
Gordon is survived by his three brothers: Harold (Nadine),
Mervin (Carolyn), and Linford (Mary Louise); his three sons,
David (Joy) of Lehi, Utah, Scott (Carrie) of Overton, Nevada,
and Gary (Jennifer) of Centerville, Utah. He has 23grandchildren
and 37great-grandchildren with 2 on the way. He was preceded
in death by his wife Norma Spencer Beckstrand, his brother
Joseph Beckstrand, and his granddaughters Laura Beckstrand
and Mikheala Beckstrand.
The family would like to thank those who cared for Gordon,
particularly David and Joy Beckstrand, who sacrificed countless
hours for his comfort, and Mary Smith, his hospice nurse
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 10,
2016 at 10:00 am at the Pheasant Point 7th LDS Ward Chapel,
3065 North 1300 West, Lehi, Utah. Family and friends may
call on Friday, September 9, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at
the Warenski Funeral Home, 1776 North 900 East, American
Fork, Utah and again on Saturday morning from 8:30 to 9:30
am at the church prior to services. A graveside service
will also be held on Saturday, September 10 at 4:00 p.m.
at the cemetery in Meadow, Utah.