Kathryn L. (Kate) Beck, age 89, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. Kate was born on Aug. 15, 1928, the daughter of John and Ada (Blosser) Leinbach.
She grew up in North Lima, Ohio. Raised a Mennonite, she embodied the values of simplicity, gratitude, and service to others throughout her life. Her family moved to Wakarusa, Indiana, when she was a teenager, and she attended nearby Goshen College, graduating with a degree in dietetics. She later earned a Master’s degree in food and nutrition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kate met her husband, Verne Beck, at Madison General Hospital, where they were co-workers. They made their home in Oregon with their sons, John and Daniel.
Kate was generous and good-natured, with strong faith and a heart of gold. A skilled cook, she was known for her pickles, baked goods, and applesauce, and for her stamina, even in later years, managing
food preparation for events at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Following Verne’s death in 1983, she faced life on her own with courage and spirit. She took on leadership roles at St. Luke’s, including that of
Senior Warden, and traveled to Israel and Europe on trips sponsored by the church. For many years she attended exercise classes at the YMCA with her close friend Catherine Pasell, and she took up
photography, creating artful pictures of the rural landscape surrounding her home. She was also a loving grandmother.
Her family is grateful to the exceptional staff at Main Street Quarters in Oregon, where Kate found a warm and caring community in the last year of her life. In her final days she received respectful and
compassionate care at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg. Deep appreciation is extended to Kate’s dear friend Jayne Sergenian, her longtime hairdresser and friend Lucy Kneifl, and her wonderful neighbor, Dan
Subach. Gratitude is also owed to Dr. Zorba Paster and Father Don Fleischman of St. Luke’s.
Kate was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Verne Arnold Beck; and her brother and sister-in-law,
Earl and Betty Leinbach. She is survived by her sons, John Beck and Daniel (Martha) Beck; her grandchildren, Maxwell (Ingrid) Beck and Jocelyn Wilder; her brothers, Cleo (Thelma) Leinbach and Gene
(Shirley) Leinbach; and her brother-in-law, Earl (Betty) Beck.
A memorial service will be held at ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 4011 Major Ave., Madison, at 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Monday. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com