Bob lived a full, eventful, and rewarding life of 72 years, passing away December 26, 2017 in California while surrounded by his loved ones.
Born in Oregon City to Clifford and Maxine Beckett, Bob attracted the love and support of his high school sweetheart, Kathy Wheeler. Kathy would be at his side throughout. After graduating West Linn High School, Bob served in U.S. Army intelligence and was stationed in Japan where daughter Cheri was born.
Returning home Bob developed a veterans program at Clackamas Community College and later at Southern Oregon University. Bob expanded his management portfolio beyond veterans services in Josephine County, taking on community services, mental health, and ever-evolving administrative responsibilities. As a mental health director, Bob developed the largest consortium for mental health services under the new Oregon Health Plan, Jefferson Behavioral Health. This consortium of Southern Oregon counties covered more individuals than any other organization in the state. This earned Bob the honor of mental health director of the year.
Bob ventured into the private non-profit sector to develop residential services for adults with mental illness. ColumbiaCare Services arose from Bob’s kitchen table, becoming a large, stable resource provider across Oregon and parts of Idaho and Washington. He was a visionary leader, whole-hearted advocate, and champion for vulnerable populations. Bob’s motto was “Always do the right thing.”
Throughout his lifetime Bob enjoyed coin collecting, photography, travel, hunting, fishing, and was an avid baseball and Oregon Ducks football fan.
Bob is survived by his spouse; daughter, Cheri (Jack) Holman; sister, Patti (Robert) Bailey; three grandchildren; three great- grandchildren; two nephews; and one niece.