Creating family legacy

December 1, 2015

Stan and Joyce Beckman

Stan and Joyce Beckman remember Joyce’s parents, Reo and Bessie McMillen, as generous people who lived with integrity and faith. Reo was a quiet man who enjoyed building and woodworking. Bessie was a teacher who loved being surrounded by family. Both knew what it was like to overcome adversity.

“They came up through all the tough stuff,” said daughter Joyce. “They lived through the Depression and World Wars. They knew poverty and hunger.”

Because of the struggles her father faced as a young man, he was deeply concerned with leaving enough behind for his children. “But we told him, ‘Dad, you are our legacy,’” said Joyce.

Joyce and Stan have been hard at work sharing that legacy. They established the Reo and Bessie McMillen Memorial Fund, knowing Joyce’s parents would be delighted at the thought of helping the community.

They are also passing down the values Reo and Bessie held dear through the generations of their family. Grandson Reo Heinzman served as president of the Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee from 2014-2015. Reo not only shares his great-grandfather’s name but also his enthusiasm for helping others.

“He has a great name to live up to,” said Joyce, smiling at Reo. “And he already is.”