Monday, February 14, 2011

This is an article in honor of my Grandma "Bubbles"

'Selfless giver' had endless zest for life
Published: 2/12/2011 10:44 PM | Last update: 2/13/2011 12:06 AM

'Selfless giver' had endless zest for life

Ordinary Lives

Johnny and Jerry were lovers for more than 60 years.

Bubbles was what everyone around Aurora, W. Va., called Mary Geraldine "Jerry" Beckman, in
the coal mining community where the couple graduated from high school. Bubbles was known
for her buoyant personality.

She died Feb.9, in Her Hutchinson home, at the age of 80, following what her family described
as a courageous battle with cancer.

"She was the new girl in town," John Beckman said, recalling how he met his wife when she was
15. An adventurous young lady, he remembered how she rode her sled four miles over to his
house out in the country after a heavy West Virginia snow just to visit. At the time he couldn't
believe she had come all that way on the American Flyer. But she said it wasn't a problem, a car
passed her on the road and she just grabbed on to its bumper.

The children of coal miners, John Beckman was working in the mine, like his own father, when
Jerry's dad, who happened to be his boss, sat him down for a talk.

"He fired me," said Beckman. "He said if I was going to marry his daughter I wasn't going to be
working in the coal mine."

As they planned to strike out on their own, they loaded up a 1942 Oldsmobile with all their
belongings and headed to a job in Baltimore. But along the way they had a fender bender
changing the route they had set out upon. Returning home, it was Jerry's mom who suggested
they might like living in Kansas.

"When we moved from West Virginia to Kansas this became Jerry's state," said her husband. At
first he went to work for Foy Construction and they lived in a one-room apartment on Second

The couple raised three children, Steve Beckman, Hutchinson, John Beckman, Derby and Laurie
Beckman Hoag, Lindsborg. Six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren also survive her.

"She loved her family," Laurie Hoag, said of her mother who was also her dear friend. "She was
our rock."

"She was the planner," said granddaughter Tabitha Hoag Wright. Whether it was a holiday or a
birthday she planned to make it special.

Jerry made sure she was home for her children. Every morning she cooked her family a large
breakfast of pancakes and eggs.

"She would even take orders for eggs," Laurie Hoag said.

When her granddaughter Tabitha was beginning her young family, Jerry, who had been a stay-
at-home mom, had a chat with her about raising the next generation.

"She told me there was no reason to get a job, raising my children would be my job," Tabitha said.

Along with loving her family, Jerry loved her home. She painted, created ceramics and other
crafts, but always gave everything away as gifs.

"She remembered what you liked and got that for you," Tabitha said. "She was a selfless giver."

Recalling her zest for living, John Beckman said despite not being able to swim, she learned to
water ski. At Kanopolis Lake she mastered skiing on an oar and would stand atop her husband's
shoulders to ski in a pyramid

"She taught us all how to live," John Beckman said of his wife, as he recalled her "Unbelievable

"There was no give up in her," he said.


  1. I think it's great that Hutch is the kind of town that would publish an article like this! You guys are all in my thoughts right now.

  2. Wow..just, wow...
    (tearing up alil over here)