John Lawrence Beckham, aka Papa John/ Brother John, will be greatly missed as he went home to be with his Lord and Savior Feb. 20, 2011, at age 89. He lived a full joyful life with his wife Wanda Pauline Whitehead, who preceded him to life in Heaven 12 years ago. John and Pauline moved to Roswell in 1943 where they spent the majority of their lives, and where four of their six children were born. Family and friends were always welcomed in their home.
If you live in a bricked home in Roswell, there is a great chance that the brick work was done by his hand â€œone brick at a timeâ€ with patience and pride in his work. He volunteered many hours of â€œone brick at a timeâ€ to Roswell Baptist Temple and Tabernacle Baptist Church as well as churches in El Paso, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque. He tried to retire from brick laying in 1979, when he worked as a jailer for the Chaves County Sheriffâ€™s Department for seven years, where he was nicknamed by the prisoners as Brother John. John was a faithful servant of the Lord, working as a church â€œbus driver,â€ encourager to many pastors and missionaries and willing to do any job asked of him taking the same pride â€œas unto the Lordâ€ as he did his profession.
He loved the games of dominoes and forty-two with a passion, and a good fishing trip. John was blessed with 21 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, and two great-greatgrandchildren. He was preceded in death by his dad Henry Beckham and mother Effie Lawrence of Terra Bella, Calif.; two brothers, Leonard Beckham, of Terra Bella, and Alvin Beckham, of Cottonwood, Ariz.; one sister Thelma Fricke, of Terra Bella; and one son John Paul Beckham, of Roswell. He has one surviving sister Mary Lou Atchison of Flagstaff, Ariz. He was the â€œDadâ€ of Bobby Jack Beckham and his wife Dee, of Amarillo, Texas, and the following who live in Roswell: Carolyn Wright, Mary Beckham, Sandra Brisco and husband Stan, Randi Newton and husband Bill, and Ronnie Beckham and wife Sherri; the grandchildren are: Roxenne Butler, Belinda Green, Bonnie Hof fman, Troy Beckham, Kip Milbern, Mandy Childers, Cyndi Peacock, Sandra Phipps, Billy Wright, Aaron Blossom, Vanessa Elliot, Dustin Brisco, Joshua Newton, Amanda Newton Carrell, Amy Newton, KC Beckham, Michelle Salas, John Beckham, Justin Beckham, Dara Beckham, and Johnathan Beckham.
In the years past, Dad has enjoyed the love and companionship of his family and the staff and friends of the J.O.Y. Center Day Care. The family expresses their sincere thanks and appreciation of all the staff there as well as the nurses and CNAs of Mission Arch Nursing Home for the past two months. John will also be missed by his Roswell Baptist Church family. Services will be held Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011, at 1 p.m., at Roswell Baptist Church, 700 E. Berrendo Road, with the Rev. Bill Whitehead officiating. Pallbearers will be Troy Beckham, Aaron Blossom, Johnathan Beckham, Josh Newton, Zachary Blossom and Leland Wright. Honorary pallbearers will be John Beckham Jr., Justin Beckham, Johnathan Harris, Roger Peacock, Kip Milbern, Bob Adams and Bobby Sims. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Missions Fund at Roswell Baptist Temple, or the J.O.Y. Center Adult Day Care Center. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and memories in the online register book at andersonbethany. com. Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory.