Harold I. Beckett

March 13, 1923 - September 20, 2018
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Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Inc.
Ann Cannon Lorenz Light a candle


Harold I. Beckett age 95, of Lima passed away Thursday, Sept. 20.

He was the first born March 13, 1923 to the late Harry I and Vivian Evelyn Turner Beckett. He served in the combat infantry during WWII. He married Juanita Cannon Aug. 30, 1947, and she preceded him in death on Oct. 2, 2017.

His mom taught him how to sing harmony while they did dishes together. He also performed in Vaudeville playing a harmonica and accompanying himself with an accordion. He said he enjoyed waiting in the wings with the comedians although his mom did not approve.

He moved to Lima in the early 1950s and began teaching music for Shawnee Public Schools. He helped to organize an area Eisteddfod( Welsh singing competition). He later became an adjudicator for OMEA Music Festivals. Harold’s fondest memories were of working with the students at Shawnee High School. He enjoyed putting on Musical Theater with the help of his friend George Dunster at Shawnee High School.

He was the cantorial soloist for Temple Beth Isreal-Shaare Zedek for 60 years where he had many friends. Beckett was active with the Lima Civic Chorus and Lima Symphony Orchestra. He also served as choir director at Grace Methodist Church, Shawnee Methodist Church, First Baptist Church. After retiring from Shawnee Schools, Harold joined the music faculty at Ohio Northern University where he taught voice. He was proud that many of his former students went on to have successful careers in music.

During his career he studied at the Meadowbrook School of Music in Michigan and studied under Robert Shaw while attending the Tanglewood Music Festival where he was a soloist with the Robert Shaw Choral and Boston Symphony Orchestra. It was while studying at Tanglewood that he sang “The Old Oaken Bucket” for the 100th birthday of the artist Grandma Mosses and roomed with fellow student, Seiji Ozawa.

Harold Beckett is preceded in death by his two brothers, Carl Thomas (Margaret) Beckett and Harry (Dortha) Beckett.

Survivors include two sons: Thomas M. Beckett of Lima and Jeffrey W. Beckett of Cut Bank, MT.

Private family services and burial will be in Ft. Amanda Cemetery.

The family request any contributions be made to the Lima Symphony Orchestra.

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Timeline for Harold I. Beckett

Born: March 13, 1923
September 22, 2018
A great musician and teacher has passed. A competitor in the annual Esteddfod compition and friend
Died: September 20, 2018

Condolences for Harold I. Beckett

Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Inc.

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Inc..


Cathy Kelloes posted on 11/25/18

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Harold. He was a wonderful man and magnificent music teacher. I remember him from his time at Shawnee Schools. My mother, Lois Landfair, was also a friend of his. Please accept my sincere condolences. Cathy (Landfair) Kelloes


HH posted on 9/28/18

My condolences to the friends and family. May you find comfort in God and his word the Bible. He cares about us promises to comfort us and and offer us hope for the future. (Psalms 34:18/Revelation 21:4)


Denise D'Arca posted on 9/26/18

I remember Harold in so many settings--as a colleague at ONU, carpooling to do OMEA vocal adjudications, watching him work his magic with University Singers, and especially the time he applied to direct "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Civic Center. He didn't get the directing job, so he said,"What the hell," and auditioned for the show. He was the best Tevye we ever saw! I know he and Juanita are enjoying being together now, even though he'll be missed by so many people, including my family. Tom & Jeff--My sincere condolences.


Paul D. Shenk posted on 9/26/18

Thomas and Jeffery. You had a wonderful, gifted, and caring Dad! I worked with him in the early 50`s. Our pathways would cross at Chiefs and as fellow Realtors. A amazing memory. He never forgot me nor I he! He was so humble. I knew of just a few of his talents. The rest I learned in the Obit. What a good, long, fruitful life. He touched so many people in a wonderful way! You and I and and thousands will miss him, but I bet he is so tickled to be in heaven with his lovely, talented , Juanita.


Beverly Craig posted on 9/24/18

Harold was a dear neighbor, friend and support person not only for our children, but for our whole family, he was always there in the time of need, with a kind word or a good idea to make the best of life. I really appreciated his taking my son to boy's rotary club when I had no wheels. The last time I seen him, he did not remember me, but even through I had aged through the years, he remembered how to flirt with me and made my day. Harold will be missed by all who knew him. Tom and Jeff, you had a great dad, you made his ending days wonderful for him. So proud to know you both and your great family. Love Always, Dave, Beverly, Jon and Jean Craig P.S. Stay in touch.


John Y. Seiling posted on 9/24/18

I remember and celebrate Harold’s life over more than 65 years and count him among one of my best friends. We worked together in music, on summer jobs and as Realtors. He touched our lives with a quick smile, humor and funny stories, a beautiful singing voice and thoughtful caring. What a joy to be around! He had a private side that he rarely revealed, but I was privileged to see how very proud he was of watching his two sons, Tom & Jeff grow up. I will miss Harold as his family will, but we all can take comfort that he has enjoyed a long useful and fulfilling life and now is at peace with God. Goodbye my friend!


Ann Cannon Lorenz posted on 9/23/18

In memory of Harold I. Beckett, Ann Cannon Lorenz lit a candle


Ann Cannon Lorenz posted on 9/23/18

Dear Tom & Jeff, The Heavenly choir has acquired a beautiful voice in Harold's passing. How his Columbus Cannon family will miss that beautiful voice and his ornery jokes. Broke my arm as a youngster and Harold brought me a stuffed monkey to help with my recovery. Harold was loved and will be missed. Wonderful memories of a life well lived. Together again with his beautiful Nita.


Kittye Sue ((Yoakam) Lewis, class of 1960 posted on 9/23/18

Sorry to hear of Mr. Beckett's passing. I have many fond memories of being in choir at Shawnee. He was one of those special people who becomes a blessing in other people's lives. I


Paula (Roselawn kitchen) posted on 9/22/18

Tom, so very sorry about the loss of your father, I was looking for another person and seen your father's, I will never forget him!! At last they are together again!! Take care!!