Our most benevolent and beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend passed away peacefully surrounded by his most favorite people: Rilla Dee, Shauna, and Janet, exactly where he wanted to be, at home in his bed, on Thursday evening, March 24, 2022.
Roland Jay Beck was born June 8, 1927 in Centerfield, Utah, to Daniel D. and Melva Beck.
Roland loved his Savior. He remembers at age three kneeling at his mother’s knee and being taught about an older brother who was named Jesus Christ. That was the focal point of his entire life.
A storyteller, a mentor, a teacher, a farmer, a family man, Roland served his church and community in many ways. Just to mention a few…he loved to be a home teacher, ministering one on one. He served a mission to England after the Navy and then, later in life, a mission with Pauline to the Philippines, then Florida.
He served as bishop and a counselor in the stake presidency, in the Young Men’s and Primary. He served 30 years as an ordinance worker in the Manti Temple. It was a great joy to him to be able to seal his posterity to their eternal mates. He also served in his community. He was a member of the Lions Club for many years and also served as mayor of Centerfield.
Roland was a veteran. At age 17, he joined the Navy, finished boot camp, and was in radio school when WWII ended. He shipped out to serve in the Pacific for four years and was on one of the last ships to leave Shanghai before it fell to the Communists. He spent the remaining time minesweeping (searching for naval mines) in the Pacific Ocean.
After the Navy, he served with the National Guard for 15 more years.
Roland was an Aggie, graduating from Utah State University with his business/teaching degree.
In 1954, he started teaching business, geography and typing at Gunnison High School and taught for the next 19 years while farming during the summer, after school, and being an entrepreneur in between. Farming was his true love, and still at 94 years old, he was down at Beck Family Farms “supervising” and making sure the crops were growing. After retiring, he went on to be the water master for 25 years.
Roland is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Rilla Dee Payne Sorenson, and their children: Rozann (Bernell) Christensen, David (Lorie) Beck, Janet Hoffmann, Lori Davis, Shauna (Jim) McMaster, Mariko Homma, Brett (Lisa) Sorenson, Janalee (Scott) Burbank, Garth (Jacque) Sorenson, and Sharee Sorenson; their 46 grandchildren, 76 great-grandchildren and 1.5 great-great-grandchildren (and counting); siblings Leslie (De Esta) Beck and Joan Holden; and son -in-law, Larry Jensen.
Preceded in death by his loving wife of 43 years, Pauline Jane Madsen; parents; children: Debbie Jensen, Kerry Sorenson, and Todd Sorenson; grandchildren: Philip, Nicole, and Micah; sister, Audrey Werly; and brothers: Donald (Beverly) and Waldo Beck.
We are grateful for the 94 years we have had with Roland and are excited that he is on to the next “high adventure of the very best kind.” We find peace and joy in knowing that he is with the Savior that he loves and is having a celebration with all of our beloved family and friends who have gone before. We will miss him, his harassing, his great example, and his loving heart immensely.
Funeral services will be held Monday, April 4, 2022 at 11 a.m. in the Centerfield 1st Ward Chapel, where friends may call Sunday evening from 6 to7 p.m. or Monday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Centerfield Cemetery with military honors by the Centerfield American Legion Post #105 and Navy Honor Guard.
Live streaming and online guestbook can be found at www.maglebymortuary.com under Roland’s obituary. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti.