Joseph A. Beck
June 10, 1924 - March 24, 2013
Joseph A. Beck (Joe), 88, passed away on March 24, 2013. Born on June 10, 1924 in New York City to Joseph A. Beck Sr. and Emelia B. Dausand, he grew up in the NYC school system, both public and Parochial. He went to school to learn to be an electrician, and apprenticed with a local electrician, where he learned the trade, and radio repair.
Joe entered the Army in February of 1943. His basic training was at Camp McQuaid California in Sea Coast Artillery where he became a telephone lineman. After basic he was sent to the 53rd Coast Artillery Regiment is Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
The 53rd Coast Artillery Regiment provided Coastal Defense from South Carolina to Key West, FL. Joe became a medium speed radio operator and he was promoted to Corporal. In May of 1944 the 53rd was sent to Fort Bragg, NC, and became the 153rd Field Artillery Group HQ. Joe was sent to school at Fort Sill, OK to learn Field Artillery radio communications, and was promoted to Sargent.
In March of 1945 the unit traveled to New York for shipment to Europe. The convoy arrived two weeks later at LeHarve France. His unit fought in the Battle of the Rhine, and after VE Day was sent back to deploy to Japan. While on furlough in NY, Joe asked his Fiance Virginia V. Cieplenski to marry him, but she said, “Not till the war was over.”
The United States dropped the Atomic bombs on Japan, and the war was ended. Joe and Ginny set the date August 19, 1945, and were married. They went to Fort Jackson, SC, to wait for deactivation and honeymooned in Columbia, SC. Joe was promoted to Master Sargent before being discharged.
After returning to NY, Joe went back to work as a Journeyman Electrician. He also joined the 305th Antiaircraft Artillery Group HQ Reserve unit, whose mission was support of the NYC Air Defense. He received four promotions with the 305th, WOJG WI, CWO W2, W3, and CWO W4, Communications Officer. In 1950 he moved to Norwalk, CT, and in 1953 became a Master Electrician, starting his own business, A-Jay Electric. In 1975 Joe was hired at Philips Medical Systems as Installations Manager, installing X-Ray rooms in Hospitals in NYC, Long Island, Connecticut and the US Military Academy at West Point. In 1982 he transferred to Philips HQ in Shelton, CT where he managed the pre-installation of X-Ray rooms until his retirement on October 28, 1988.
Joe never forgot his Army Radio Training and in 1973 became an Amateur Radio Operator with the call sign WA1RXA. In 1974 he joined USAF MARS to use his skills to handle Health and Welfare radio traffic for our servicemen located around the world. In 1992 he accepted the position of State MARS Director for Connecticut, which he held until his passing.
Surviving him are his loving wife Virginia, son Alan of Norwalk, daughter Alisa Puskas of Honea Path, SC, granddaughters Alyssa and Sarah of Honea Path, SC, and Michele Munday of Prescott Valley, AZ and great-grandson Joseph Winner of Prescott Valley, AZ.
Friends may call on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue, Norwalk. A memorial mass will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Friday, April 5, 2013 in St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 203 East Avenue, Norwalk. Interment of ashes with full military honors will follow in St. John Cemetery, Richards Avenue, Norwalk.