Ralph George Beckwith


Ralph George Beckwith, 79, Lansing, Kansas, passed away, April 19, 2021, peacefully at home. 

A loving husband, father and step-grandfather, he was born Feb. 21, 1942, in St. Louis, Missouri, to George and Francis (Lemanski) Beckwith.

Ralph graduated from Rancho Alamitos High School in Garden Grove, California, Fullerton (Junior) College and the University of Missouri – Columbia. He joined the U.S. Army and while stationed overseas in Darmstadt, Germany, fell in love with his future wife. They married on May 31, 1969, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Belleville, Illinois.

He also served in the Missouri Army National Guard (Service Battery, 1st Battalion, 129th Field Artillery – Richmond). A beloved teacher, he taught high school social studies in Carrollton, Missouri, from 1971-1981 and was adviser of the school yearbook. He reenlisted in the Army and taught ROTC at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and later, military strategy and tactics at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He retired as a lieutenant colonel.

In retirement, Ralph was an active member of the Leavenworth Lions Club, Old Bastards, Civil War Round Table, Santa Fe Trail MOAA and Lansing American Legion. He volunteered at the Leavenworth Youth Achievement Center, the Heritage Center and Lansing Historical Society. He also served as president of the national Fred Harvey Museum and won honorable mention in Parade Magazine’s 2006 Tell America’s Story Contest about the museum. 

Ralph is survived by his wife, Hermine (Klima) Beckwith; his children, Alexander Ralph Beckwith and Kathrine Beckwith Godin (Andrea); and step-grandsons, Austin and Alijah.

He was predeceased by his older sister, Katherine “Becky” Beckwith, and his parents.

Mass of Christian burial will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, April 30, 2021, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Leavenworth National Cemetery. Arrangements are in care of R.L. Leintz Funeral Home.

Published on April 26, 2021