Charles Beckwith

Charles Beckwith

Kent - Charles Beckwith's stock answer to the question "Have you lived your whole life in Kent?" was "Not yet." Yet came on November 30, 2020.

Charles was an only child born to Jay and Grace Beckwith on November 2, 1927. He was raised on the family farm in Franklin Township and established his household in Twin Lakes in 1957 where he and his wife Marilyn raised their seven children. Charles was a devoted and loving spouse, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He loved entertaining and being surrounded by family and friends at his home and farm.

Charles met his wife Marilyn at a penny carnival while attending Kent State University. They were married on December 27, 1949 in Decatur, Indiana.

Charles was a 1945 graduate of Kent Roosevelt High School. He went on to serve in the United States Army Medical Corps at Camp Lee Virginia (later designated as Fort Lee) where he worked in a dental clinic. After being honorably discharged from the Army in 1947, he used the GI Bill to attend Kent State University where he studied biology.

Charles was a proud employee of the Dow Chemical Company where he spent his entire professional career. He retired in 1985 as an account manager with 32 years of service. His job required extensive travel throughout a multi-state area giving him the opportunity to meet many people from all walks of life as he specialized in assisting farmers increase their yield and kept utility rights-of-way clear.

Once retired from Dow Chemical, he returned to the family farm full-time and with Marilyn continued to grow Beckwith Orchards by providing a welcoming farm venue for families, school children and local residents. He retired from active work at Beckwith Orchards when he was 86 years old. Charles had an incredible work ethic but was able to take time away from work to spend with his family and travel. He used to say he only worked half days since he retired, that is 12 hours.

Charles and his wife Marilyn had a passion for travel, first with their children and later as retirees. They were fortunate to travel to 6 continents, 45 countries, and to nearly every state. They especially loved Sanibel Island, Florida where they spent many Christmas holidays with their children. They enjoyed traveling to Great Britain on numerous occasions. Many of their trips were taken with their dear friends and Kent State classmates, Norm and Joann Dyson.

Charles had many interests. He was an avid reader on many topics, including history, the military, wildlife, business, and travel. He loved the outdoors and walking the family's 100-acre farm. He was a birdwatcher with many bird feeders, and knowledgeable in plants, insects, and seashells. He enjoyed educating others about these subjects, especially young children visiting the family farm. Charles was also a natural storyteller keeping family and friends entertained with his many stories.

Charles and Marilyn were inducted into the Kent City Schools Hall of Fame in 2017 for their contributions to the Kent City Schools. Charles was a member of Kent Rotary, and a former member of the Franklin Township Zoning Commission. He and Marilyn received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kent Garden Club, and Charles was involved with the Portage County Park District. He also won numerous blue-ribbon awards at the Portage County Fair for his prized apples. He loved involving his grandchildren in the selection and presentation of the apple varieties entered annually at the fair. Most importantly, Charles was an award-winning father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

Charles and Marilyn were active in American Field Service (AFS) for many years and hosted international high school students who resided with their family for a year while attending Kent Roosevelt High School as well as hosting international students attending Kent State University. These students became part of their extended family.

Surviving Charles is his wife of 70 years Marilyn, their children, Karen Beckwith of Hudson OH, Jeff Beckwith (Mike) of Irvine, CA, Cathy Laube (Mark) of Hinckley, OH, Paul Beckwith (Elaine) of Angola IN, John (Jacque) Beckwith of Franklin Township, Mark (Kathleen) Beckwith of Kent and Sally (Tammy) Beckwith of Franklin Township. Charles is also survived by fourteen grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Also survived by his extended international family members Marcos Viesi (Brazil), Lage Johansson (Sweden), Clarine Van Ommeren (Netherlands), George Crump (Scotland) and Marco Vandyke (Netherlands).

The Beckwith family would like to thank the kind staff at the Danbury in Hudson, the wonderful doctors and nurses at University Hospital in Ravenna and the loving and caring neighbors who helped with our father. We are forever grateful.

Due to COVID 19 there will be no viewing or calling hours. A memorial service will be planned later. In lieu of flowers, donations in Charles memory can be made to the Portage County Park District or the Kent Garden Club. To share a Memory, Send a Condolence or Light a Candle, visit the Tribute Wall at

Posted online on December 02, 2020