Cover photo for John Beck's Obituary
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1941 John 2022

John Beck

January 7, 1941 — July 25, 2022

John Beck was born on January 7th, 1941 in Bismarck, North Dakota. He died after a brief illness on July 25th, 2022, in Bismarck, North Dakota.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 a.m. Monday, August 1, at Church of Corpus Christi, 1919 N 2nd St, Bismarck. Msgr. Patrick Schumacher will officiate.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

Burial will be held at St. Mary’s cemetery.

A service livestream will be available for viewing at Corpus Christi's Facebook link: 

He was a painter, gardener, preserver of history, fireworks enthusiast, and eternal kid at heart. He left a beautiful mark on this world and will be forever missed.

John’s artistic abilities were evident throughout his life from a kid drawing flipbooks to make characters appear to move as you flipped the pages, to beautiful paintings of rural landscapes of North Dakota and the desert Southwest. His artistic eye and craftsmanship was also put to good use on his garden gauge railroad. His detail in the railcars, buildings, and people made the whole village he had created come to life! He delighted in sharing his train, especially with his great nieces and nephews. These trips were especially enjoyed on 4th of July get-togethers with John’s love of fireworks! 

 The railroad, while beautiful, was also put to use to help in another one of John’s passions - gardening. He used the trains to help him haul the pumpkins he harvested each fall.  From pumpkins, apples, and other produce in the fall to Christmas trees in the winter, people knew they would be getting quality from John.

When people came to buy produce from John, they picked their vegetables from the bed of a Model A truck John had restored. This was a glimpse into another passion of John’s - restoring antiques. John had a love of preserving history. He was one of the founding members of the Great Plains Museum south of Mandan, worked for the Bismarck Historical Society, volunteered for the North Dakota State Railroad Museum, the Rollag Steam Threshers Reunion, and Buckstop Junction. He restored countless historical artifacts including Model A’s, speeder railroad cars, bikes, gas pumps, and much more.  In essence John loved life, lived simply, pursued his passions and shared them with others.  Truly a ‘one of a kind’!  He will be missed by many!

John is survived by his brothers, Mike (Maureen) Beck, Jim (Jan) Beck, Steve (Sydney) Beck, his sister, Susan (Dan) Shomler and many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. John is also survived by his coffee buddies.

He was preceded in death by his parents Francis ‘Ole’ and Marian (Muehl) Beck.

Family prefers memorials be directed to Bismarck Arts and Galleries Association or The North Dakota State Railroad Museum.

To share memories of John, sign the online guestbook and view the service livestream, visit


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Beck, please visit our flower store.


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