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Spreading Pop’s Magic

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Pops shared his smile with several in Millington after moving to the city in 1976.

Pops shared his smile with several in Millington after moving to the city in 1976.

By the dozens, people filed through the doors of the Munford Funeral Home Millington Chapel Dec. 19 to pay their respects to the late William “Pops” Lee Beckman.

The Navy veteran and Millington business man passed away last week. Along with his wife Jeanne, Pops owned Pop’s Bar n’ Grill on Navy Road nearly 3 years ago.

The restaurant, years in the service and living in Millington since 1976 created several lasting friendships and relationships for Pops. And during the visitations stories were shared with Ms. Jeanne and the family about Pop’s gestures of love and kindness.

One person remembered the time a homeless man came to Pop’s in need of a meal. Pops gave him a meal and slid him $100. Another story circulating the room was the time he stopped a woman from being attacked by her boyfriend at a nearby hotel.

His daughter Linda said the world will no longer have the spreading of Pops’ Magic. But the way he lived served a lessons to his loved one to carry on.

For 15 years Pops had minimal interaction with his bartender Jeanne.

“He was two drinks and he was going home after work,” she recalled.

But the two developed a friendship and love leading to marriage on June 5, 2010.

“He was the most precious living thing you’ll ever meet in your life,” Jeanne said. “No unkind words would come out of his mouth.”

Well-wishers shared those sentiments to Jeanne and Pops’ six children Linda Lee, Patti Fagan, Thomas Beckman, Gregory Kent Beckman, William Oren Beckman, and Christopher Michael Wright.

Linda said her father stood 6-feet, 7-inches. And his love for his family was even more towering. Jeanne said her husband would work hard to make his family’s dreams come true including hers with Pop’s Bar n’ Grill.

“He made it come true,” she said. “He never really had anything bad to say about that business. He just wanted to keep it going.”

Pops wasn’t afraid of hard work after leaving home in Lowdes, Mo. He joined the Navy and served for 22 years working as a boilermaker.

He continued in that line of work after his retirement from the service. His other job was being a family patriarch and community leader.

“He’s just precious,” Jeanne said. “There are not enough words to describe how good he is. Everything is good. He was all heart. There were so many things he did for people. There’s not a person anywhere who can say anything bad about him.

“He was very quiet and very reserved,” she added. “He didn’t say a lot. But when he did talk, it was something always funny and made you laugh. When he spoke you listened.”

As she listened to stories of the impact her husband had on so many lives, Jeanne said she would be comforted by what she learned from the man she loved.

“I’m going to do what he taught me to do,” she concluded. “When you give respect, you get it. He taught me a lot about what to do when something goes wrong. He was always worried about me. He worked hard. He always worked hard. He retired when he was 74 years old. So I’m going to keep going on for him.”

 

  • God speed Pops. I will miss you, as I know all of us will. Jeanne, hopefully we will get to see you soon. Our condolences to you and yours.

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