Anita K. Beck, 73, of Davenport, passed away Friday, October 1, 2010, at her residence after battling with heart and lung problems for a number of years. Funeral services and Mass of Burial will be 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 2618 Boies Ave., Davenport. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, 614 Main St., Davenport. A prayer at 4 p.m. Wednesday will begin the visitation that all are invited to attend. Burial will be in Riverside Memorial Park, Moline, Ill.
Anita was born Jan. 8, 1937, at Fort Benning, Georgia, the daughter of Capt. and Mrs. Theodore Beck. Anita’s life motto was Pax and she believed that she rarely met a person that she could not befriend. She would always sum her life up in three words: friend, student, teacher. She basically followed the concepts of Thomas Carlyle in her view of societies and cultures, the concepts of Cardinal Newman in her view of education, and the concepts of Carl Jung in her view of self and individual others.
Life was magical for Anita. Each day presented a newness that she tried hard to share with those she communicated with on that day. She was unique in that she often became friends with whole families, fitting into their structure when she was with them, as if she always belonged. As a young child in Aledo, Ill., it was the Holt and Miller families; in Moline, as a teenager, it was the Mountain and Brown families; as a college student, it was the Randle family in Rock Island, Ill., and the Knopick family in Winona, Minn. When Anita became a teacher, it was the Kean family in Cascade, Iowa, and the Tobin family in Albert Lea, Minn. As a graduate student, Anita shared with the Heiderscheit and Clemen families in Holy Cross, Iowa. In Davenport, she was and still is a part of the Frields family. She became a friend to many who are too numerous to name. Anita believes that her friends throughout her life have provided the faithful support and companionship that all of us need to navigate the hardships, challenges and painful losses of life.
Anita attended grade school in Aledo while carrying newspapers and working at a truck garden. She attended high school in Moline while working at Hickey Brothers. Later she attended Moline Community College, receiving an A.S. degree in science and math while working as an aide at the Lutheran Hospital. Anita then received a B.A. in English from Marycrest College, Davenport, while working at Modern Woodmen of America. After teaching for a period of time, Anita obtained an M.S. in community counseling at Mankato State in Minnesota, while working in the college library. Anita spent a lot of time doing postgraduate work in both psychology and administration at the University of Iowa while teaching as a college professor.
Anita started her teaching career at Aquin High School in Cascade. After one year, she went to Rock Ridge in Edgington, Ill., for two years while still living in Davenport. Anita then moved to Albert Lea, Minn., teaching at Emmons High School for three years. After receiving her master’s degree, she worked at the Commission on Aging for Senior Iowans for a few years. While there, she started teaching at Palmer Jr. College in the evenings. She then shifted her attention to college teaching and was part of the merger of Palmer with Scott Community College. Anita spent 25 years teaching psychology at the college level.
Work was Anita’s love and it defined her being. She always worked another job besides teaching, and also worked in the summer. She worked at Land of Lakes Turkey Plant, Wilson Meat Packing, Migrant Workers Association, Jerret Nursing Homes, Masonic Nursing Home and the Y.M.C.A. Summer Camp, to name a few. Besides jobs, she was at times very active in church. Anita had many friends who belonged to four religious communities: Sisters of Humility, Davenport; Dominican Sisters, Springfield, Ill.; Franciscan Sisters, Dubuque; and Sisters of Mercy, Chicago, Ill. For a number of years, under Msgr. Sebastian Menke, she ran adult groups. Anita considered Msgr. Menke the holiest man she ever knew.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made in Anita’s name to the church, one of the four religious communities she had befriended, or to Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities.
Survivors include two sisters, Lorna Cappaert and her family of Rock Island, and Theo Lockhart of Sun City, Florida., and Carol Frields and her family. Her mother, Maisie, and her father, Red, her dear friends Leon, Connie Brown, Gerald Knopick, Sister May Helen Rappenecker and Earl Brammann, and her beloved nephew John preceded her in death.
Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed by visiting Anita’s obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com