Former BYU administrator and faculty member Ray Beckham dies at age 90

Ray Beckham passed away at the age of 90 on Oct. 31, 2017.

Raymond E. Beckham, a respected member of the Provo community well-known for his community service, passed away on Oct. 31, 2017. Beckham served as a member of BYU’s faculty and administration for 42 years.

Beckham was born on February 18, 1927 in Chandler, Arizona. He attended the University of Utah and later served in the armed forces during World War II. Beckham converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the war and attended BYU following his return to the United States.

Following his graduation in 1949, Beckham worked for Taylor’s Department Store as an advertising manager and then accepted a position at BYU in the Extension Division. Beckham went on to become the director of public services, director of alumni relations, director of development, a professor of communications and the Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications.

During his time as a BYU faculty member and administrator, Beckham helped BYU become the first university to computerize its alumni records. He also founded the Aspen Grove Family Camp, as well as the BYU Alumni Fund, and served on the BYU President’s Council for 20 years.

For his services and community service while working at BYU, Beckham was awarded the Presidential Medal from BYU, the Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the student body’s Outstanding Manhood Award, the BYU Franklin S. Harris Award, and was inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ari Davis
Ray Beckham shows a picture of a class holding up “thank you” signs. (Ari Davis)

Beckham was actively involved in the community up until his death. For three weeks during the summer of 2017, the Provo Recreation Center welcomed students from schools all over the area to enjoy the center’s indoor pools and gym without any cost to the children, thanks to donations made by Beckham.

Beckham is survived by his wife Janette and five children.

Funeral services will be held at noon on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Oak Hills Stake Center Chapel, 925 East North Temple, Provo, Utah.

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