Merle A. Beckman, 86, Mound City, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. He was born in rural La Cygne on Oct. 5, 1935, the son of Charles and Neeva (Neal) Beckman. He graduated from La Cygne Rural High School in the Class of 1954. He began a career in the auto industry in 1957, in a sales position with Kipper Chevrolet in Pleasanton. In 1977, he began working at Pointer Motors in Garnett. He bought the dealership in 1983 and acquired Anderson Ford in 1988, the two becoming Beckman Motors.
He was involved in the business until 2017. Merle was united in marriage to Gloria Daly on March 2, 1961. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Mound City, the Scottish Rite and Mirza Temple in Pittsburg. Merle loved his family, even though he might not have verbalized it.
He had a passion for pulling horses. He and longtime friend, Kendall Hutton, began pulling ponies in 1962. Before the duo’s career was finished, they pulled ponies and draft horses in eight states and amassed thousands of miles together. Merle won the Kansas State Fair pulling match in Hutchinson for seven straight years, six of them with the famous team of Bonnie and Clyde. Total, he won 83 matches with that team.
He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, Bernard, Elmer, Lisle and Seth Beckman; two sisters, Gladys Lane and Fern Bazules; and one grandson, Brant Beckman. Merle is survived by his wife, Gloria, four sons, Raymond Beckman (Lori), Richard Beckman (Lauri), Rande Beckman (Sharon), and Cleve Beckman (Brenda); a daughter, Chilesa Bruner (Van); a sister, Edna Debrick; a great-nephew, Ronnie Beckman; sister-in-law and running partner, Joyce and Kendall Hutton; 16 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and one on the way.
A gathering to celebrate Merle’s life will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Schneider Funeral Home and Crematory, Mound City Chapel.
Contributions are suggested to Children’s Mercy Hospital. Online condolences can be left at www.schneiderfunerals.com.