Frederick Newell Beckwith, 65, died peacefully on April 16, 2012 in Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven after a lengthy illness. He was a resident of Woodbury for 21 years.
Beckwith was born on August 3, 1946 in Detroit, M.I., the son of Priscilla Beckwith of Savannah, Ga. and the late Newell Pierce Beckwith. He is survived by his beloved wife and best friend of 19 years, Iris, and his daughters, Alexis Ackerman of Sacramento, Calif., her husband Josh and children Melia and Alex, and Amanda Bouchet of Paris, France, her husband Jean-Patrice and son Sãbastien.
He also leaves his three sisters, Pamela Coburn of Farmington, Barbara Beckwith of Savannah, Ga., and Lynne Lenihan of Canterbury, N.H., as well as several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Beckwith was a graduate of Michigan State University in 1968 in the field of packaging design, and served his country as a sergeant in the Army with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Qui Nhon Province, Vietnam, in 1969-1970.
He was also an accomplished musician and performed as an organist during his tour in Vietnam. His many hobbies and interests included cycling, for which he represented the United States in the 1967 Pan American games in Cali, Columbia, competed in endurance races in Michigan (including one in which he cycled 350 miles within a 24 hour period, a record he held for many years), and competed for a position with the US Olympic Cycling Team in 1968 and 1972.
Beckwith was also a pioneer in the extreme sport of hang-gliding, often flying in the Colorado Rockies. He was an accomplished mountaineer, climbing peaks in North America and Europe. As a racquetball enthusiast, he was ranked #1 in his age category in New England for many years.
A master carpenter and builder by trade; he later became a successful small business co-owner with his wife. Of all of his many accomplishments, Beckwith was first and foremost a devoted son and loving husband, an adoring father and Grampy.
Visitation: There are no calling hours.
Cemetery: Cemetery Not Applicable