SENATOBIA, MS (06/12/2017) The Joe B. Beckum Endowment was established by his wife, Jean, his daughter, Dolores, and by many friends, in recognition of his service as a U. S. Marine during World War II and of his successful business career.
Beckum was born in 1926 to Joe Robert and Minnie Beckum. He died in 2012 at the age of 86. At the time of his death, he and his wife had been married for 66 years.
A graduate of Minter City High School, Beckum worked with IC Railroad in New Orleans prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marines Corps, where he fought in the historic World War II Battle of Peleliu. He continued to serve in China until the end of World War II. After returning to the Mississippi Delta, he earned his bachelor's degree in Business from Delta State University and later earned a law degree from the University of Memphis in 1962.
Most of his business career was spent with Holiday Inn where he worked in the franchise division until his retirement in 1985. He continued his entrepreneurial skills by managing his personal rental property for many years.
Joe and Jean enjoyed many years of travel literally around the world. Their travels took them to the majority of the European countries, Australia, New Zealand, and China. His love of fishing took him to Alaska on five different occasions. In addition, they took tours of the United States, traveling to almost every state.
An avid University of Memphis Tigers fan, Joe would, on many occasions, treat the football team to a fish fry at his home. In addition, he used to gather up the neighborhood teens on Friday night to take them to football games at Crump Stadium in Memphis, treating them after the game to barbecue at the famous Leonard's Barbecue.
It was after he and Jean moved to Senatobia that Beckum joined the McDonald's Coffee Group each morning, where he endeared himself to a group of men who met each morning for coffee and lively discussions of world events. One of those men, former Northwest Head Football Coach Bobby Franklin, influenced Joe to begin attending church which led to a personal faith decision by Beckum at the age of 81, at which time he was baptized.
Joe and Jean are the parents of two children, Jon Charles Beckum and Dolores Beckum Wooten, and the grandparents and great-grandparents to five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Sybil Canon, associate vice president of Development and Special Projects knew Beckum for many years. "Mr. Joe Beckum was a self-made man. He used his intellect, his initiative, and his creativity to be a generous provider for his family, all of whom he loved very much. He used his strength and his courage to become a decorated soldier during World War II. He used his good nature to become a part of the community in which he retired. He used his heart to follow the Lord. We are truly honored to have a scholarship that bears this distinctive name," Canon said.
The first scholarship has been awarded for the 2017-18 academic year. Future scholarships will be awarded to students demonstrating promise and financial need.
For more information about the Northwest Foundation, contact Canon at 662-560-1103 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.