October 5, 1956 – February 13, 2020 Former Los Altos resident and later Seattle resident, David Beck, was rudely booted off this mortal coil after a sudden heart attack on the morning of February 13th at the age of 63. Dave was a devoted husband, brother, uncle and great-uncle. You might have seen him around Seattle in his cowboy hat and full beard, wearing overalls, sandals with socks, and looking like some strange form of mountain man. He aspired to be a curmudgeon in his later years, but his good nature and quick laugh wouldn’t quite let him achieve it. Born in Palo Alto, California to John Robert (Bob) and Mary Jane Beck, Dave was one of five children. Early on, the family bounced back and forth between Los Altos and Rochester, New York thanks to Bob’s job at Kodak.
They finally settled in Los Altos permanently in 1967 until wanderlust hit Dave and he headed out to explore new frontiers shortly after graduating from Awalt High School in 1974. Dave was quite the Renaissance man who would probably have preferred living in the Gold Rush era. In addition to being a top student, he was also an accomplished cellist in his younger years. He eventually earned a BA in photography from Humboldt State in, eh who remembers, it was Humboldt State after all. Never satisfied with living within societal norms, Dave worked for a lumberyard in the high mountains of Colorado, then back in civilization as a photo developer, a ship’s chandler and an ultrasound manufacturing technician among other jobs. He was naturally curious, enjoyed reading anything he could get his hands on and was a talented writer, which really shone through in his emails. Dave met his wife, Sue, while working at a photo lab in San Francisco. They married in 1988 and in the early 1990s they moved to Seattle, Washington. Dave loved cigarettes and beer which may have had something to do with his early demise. But he lived life on his terms and enjoyed all that nature provided near his home in Seattle. He was an avid fan of Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, the Grateful Dead and Westerns (especially 1960s TV shows.) He had an abiding interest in history and most recently was meticulously researching and detailing the family tree that included thousands of ancestors. He had a fondness for trains, his favorite being the Great Northern line, particularly the caboose, and he loved to ride on antique rail lines. He watched Jeopardy faithfully and did the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink. Dave is survived by his loving wife, Sue Hatfield, his four siblings: Bryan Beck (Kaia Eakin) of Redwood City, Steve Beck (Jane Baxter) of Menlo Park, Barbara Beck (Geoff Anderson) of San Jose, Tom Beck (Amy Norton) of Louisville, CO, two nieces, Allison and Ariel, and one grandniece, Zoe. Dave’s ashes will be scattered in the Cascade Mountains sometime after the snow melts. No doubt, beer will be served. He left us way too soon and will be missed by all who knew him.