Celebrating the life of Kenneth R. Beswick
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PLEASE NOTE LOCATION CHANGE:
A CELEBRATION OF LIFE WILL BE HELD FROM 2:00 to 4:00 PM ON SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2021, AT THE FARM BUREAU PAVILION, WHITESIDE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS IN MORRISON. A PROGRAM AND REMEMBRANCES/SHARING OF STORIES WILL BEGIN AT 2:30 PM. CASUAL DRESS; BRING YOUR LAWN CHAIRS. FOR SAFETY OF ALL INVOLVED, PLEASE SOCIAL DISTANCE AND/OR WEAR A MASK IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN FULLY VACCINATED.
Ken was born on September 16, 1942, in Morrison to Dewitt K. and Violetta M. (Humphrey) Beswick. He was educated in the Malvern and Hiddleson Grade Schools of rural Whiteside County and was a graduate of Morrison High School. He married Gayle E. Horning in Anamosa, IA, and in April 2019 they celebrated their 60-year anniversary surrounded by family. Ken first farmed in the Morrison area and also worked as a carpenter. He then farmed in the Erie area from 1963 to 2017. He was a member of 4-H and FFA while growing up and later became a 4-H leader, serving for 25 years. Ken loved running chains for his boys’ high school football games and ardently cheered at his daughters’ basketball and volleyball games. He was a member of the Morrison and Erie United Methodist Churches, the Whiteside County Livestock Feeders Association, Whiteside County Pork Producers, and served on the Board of Directors of Garden Plain Mutual Insurance and Black Hawk Mutual Insurance. He was also a longtime member of the ASCS Board, serving as president for many years. Ken also served as a Newton Township Trustee. In 1971, Ken was named “Outstanding Young Farmer” for Whiteside County and runner-up for the state of Illinois “Outstanding Young Farmer” honor. Three years later he was named the county’s Conservation Farmer of the Year.
Ken was a skilled designer, carpenter, and woodworker. He enjoyed genealogy and traveling the United States and abroad; two of his favorite places to visit were Glacier National Park and France. He and Gayle also hosted and later visited two foreign exchange students. Both Ken and Gayle spent many happy days at their cabin on the Mississippi River and enjoyed their time wintering at Blue Parrot Resort in Lady Lake, FL, where he played shuffleboard, horseshoes, and drank coffee and ate donuts with many friends. He also enjoyed spending time in Morrison and Florida visiting with his dad and stepmother Betty (Dykema) Beswick and stepsiblings Mary, Judy, Bill, and Doug. After moving from the farm, Ken and Gayle’s time at Saddlebrook in Grayslake, IL was spent meeting neighbors, riding their trikes around the community, playing cards, and watching wildlife on the lake from their back porch. His recent time at Cedar Lake Assisted Living was filled with new friends and prowess at Jeopardy! But he remained grateful for his lifelong connection with his high school classmates.
Survivors include two sons, Rick (Paula) Beswick of Bozeman, MT and Mitch Beswick of Greenville, SC; two daughters, Diane (Jeff) Vail of Palatine, IL and Lori (Kevin) Clark of Long Grove, IL; nine grandchildren: Haley Vail-Adams (Joey Adams) of Clearwater, FL; Sydney (Colton) Crayne of Greer, SC; Brianna Beswick of Anchorage, AK; Spencer Beswick of Ithaca, NY; Christian Vail of Chicago, IL; Caleb (Sarah) Vail of Barrington, IL; Jackson, James, and Jayson Clark of Long Grove, IL; and two great-grandchildren: Violet Vail DeBaker and Elijah Crayne; two sisters, Karen Howe of Caledonia, WI, and Jane Wilson of Roanoke, VA; and one brother, Don (Peggy) Beswick of Morrison.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Spud and Vi, and wife, Gayle (November 14, 2019).
Memorial donations may be directed to the Parkinson’s Foundation (parkinsons.org).
To send online condolences go to www.bosmarenkes.com
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