Robert. C. (Bob) Becklin

Robert. C. (Bob) Becklin was born May 17, 1926, the eldest of seven  children born to Paul Rueben and Harriet (Oman) Becklin. He lived in Cambridge, Minn. his entire life.

He married his high school sweetheart, Joyce Hiljus, on Sept. 18, 1948 and their marriage was blessed with three children.

Becklin was an industrious young man, often having a few part-time  jobs while attending school and participating in athletics. Following his graduation from high school in 1944, Becklin joined the military where he served in the Pacific Theatre. He was Sergeant Major of the 382nd Station Hospital in Korea when he received his discharge orders.  Upon returning home, Becklin went to work as a railway mail clerk on the trains between Minneapolis and Chicago, a position he held until 1955 when he transferred to Cambridge to be a rural mail carrier.

In 1955, Becklin joined three others in founding the former charcoal plant, Rum River Charcoal, located south of Isanti. Upon leaving the Postal Service he managed the plant and served as president until it was sold to Husky Industries (now Royal Oak Charcoal) in 1966. He continued to work with Husky as division manager until 1971, when he was elected president of the Peoples State Bank (now Peoples Bank of Commerce), a position he held for 23 years.

In 1962, upon leaving the US Postal Service, Becklin was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives from Isanti and Chisago Counties and was reelected to five successive terms. He served as chairman of the Conservation Committee for three years and the National Wildlife Society honored Becklin as the Conservation Legislator of the Year in 1969. During his time in the Legislature, he authored and passed the act creating the Cambridge Community College and a bill to manage Minnesota’s shorelands, just two of his numerous legislative accomplishments.

Becklin was elected to the Board of Trustees of Memorial Hospital in Cambridge in 1966 and served for 29 years. He also served on the Minnesota Hospital Association Board of Trustees for 10 years. The Association selected Becklin as Minnesota Hospital Trustee of the Year in 1990.

Becklin was very proud of the Cambridge-Isanti Dollars for Scholars Foundation, which he co-founded in 1989. The Foundation has provided more than $2 million in scholarships to worthy graduates in the area.

Becklin is survived by his wife of 64 years (Joyce); sons Bob (Suzanne), Barry (Carla) and one daughter, Jani (Phil) Hasler; grandchildren Lauren (Eric Fuhrmann), Rachel and Nick Hasler; brothers Gilbert (Angie), Lynn (Lois), Eric (Annie), Galen (Karonne); one sister, Eileen (George) Wilkie; one sister-in-law, Ruth, and many adoring nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul Rueben and Harriet, one brother, Donn, and his in-laws, Albert and Christine Hiljus.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 18, 2012 at the Cambridge Lutheran Church with Rev. Andrew Romstad and Rev. David Everett officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. The organist will be Mary Kay O’Neill. Honorary pallbearers will be members of his coffee group Alf Stratte, Phil Dunbar, Jack Peterson, Gary Palmquist and Dudley Hanson, and his godchildren Brad Stanius, Kathy Becklin-Liu, Craig Becklin, Anita Becklin and Paul Wilkie.  Interment will be in the Cambridge Lutheran Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to the Cambridge-Isanti Dollars For Scholars, and the Cambridge Lutheran Church. Arrangements are with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.