July 19, 1929 – August 27, 2021
Barbara B. Beckett was born July 19, 1929 to Harry Ephriam Brown and Laura Doris Brown at
McPheeters Hospital in Modesto, California.
Growing up, Barbara had a vivid imagination and loved to play outdoors. Instead of
conventional toys, she used rocks and sticks as cars and fuzzy balls from the sycamore trees as
animals. Barbara loved all animals and had many that she cared for. Once she brought a calf
into the house, and her parents made her carry a bucket behind the calf (just in case)! She had
a very special pet pig that followed her around the house and napped on the couch with her.
This was not a miniature pig, but grew into a full size hog! She had great fun with her dog,
Captain, who she would send to attack the boys that came to visit her! Barbara was humored as
she recalled, “All of my boyfriends got bit by my dog. But I feel bad now because some people’s
clothes got ruined!” Her favorite pet was her white Arabian mare, Sweetheart, who she rode
nearly every day. She would sing hymns as she rode, which drew her closer to God.
Barbara graduated from Modesto High School in 1947 and Modesto Junior College in 1949. She
loved music and played the piano, organ, flute, and piccolo beautifully; she was part of the
Modesto Junior College Band, Orchestra, and the Stanislaus County Boys Band directed by the
famous Frank Mancini.
She had a heart for helping others which led her to enter nursing school and graduate as a
registered nurse from Samuel Merritt Hospital in 1952. There she met the love of her life,
Charles Beckett, while he was a patient on the surgical floor. She cared for him and read him
poetry and scriptures. Charles remembers that Barbara would not give him ice cream because it
wasn’t the doctor’s orders! They married in 1954 and had three daughters, Dee Ann, Wendy,
and Janie, who have given them 7 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. She was a loving
wife, mother, and grandmother who was always looking for ways to enrich and educate others
whether it be family or acquaintances.
Continuing with her passion for helping others, Barbara was a dedicated breastfeeding
advocate, served as president of the Medical-Dental Auxiliary in Modesto for Loma Linda
University, and passionately served over 30 years as Western District Director and Academy
Chairman for the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Foundation.
Together, Barbara and her husband enjoyed traveling the nation educating doctors at medical
conventions about blepharospasm. They were active in the Camellia society and enjoyed
sharing beautiful blooms with their family and friends. Barbara loved walking and getting her
daily exercise in the early morning hours. She was a friend to everyone she met.
At 92 years of age, Barbara B. Beckett peacefully passed away at home on August 27, 2021. She
is survived by family who loves her dearly and her devoted husband, Charles Beckett DDS, of 67
Barbara will be honored in a private family service. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be
sent to: Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, PO Box 200, Loma Linda, CA 92354; the
Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation, PO Box 12468, Beaumont, TX 77726; or
Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356, who gave her excellent care near
the end of her life.
Geraldine (Gerri) saysSeptember 3, 2021 at 8:15 pm
Geraldine Winkler September 3, 2021
I was saddened to learn that my former Merritt classmate and dear friend for 72 years has passed away. We both met the loves of our lives during nurses training while she and I were roommates, and we kept in touch over the years. She will be missed, however I rejoice knowing she is now healed and in heaven. We will meet again and spend eternity together with our Lord.
Georgia Burdsall saysSeptember 3, 2021 at 12:43 am
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of my wonderful cousin, Barbara. She was such a positive person in my life and always someone I looked up to. We often talked of how we were, each, the last 2 in our mothers family’, our mothers being two wonderful sisters. I am so happy she is no longer in pain and now with her Lord in heaven.
My love and comfort to Charlie and the girls and grandchildren.
Janet Selover saysSeptember 1, 2021 at 10:51 pm
We are so sorry for your loss! My dad and mom loved Barbara and Charles. My mom was asking about a service for her and I found this. Not sure there’s a public service, but it looks like this is for family. I will be sure to tell her. My parents are Fred and Bernice Gronemyer. My dad passed away last year on August 1st and mom is doing well at 97. She lives at The Park out by Kaiser hospital and really enjoys it. Hello to your family! Janet Gronemyer Selover