After a long, well-lived life of 83 years, Jesse Thomas “Tom” Beckham, Jr. passed away on Sunday, March 20, 2022.
Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, March 25, 2022 at 1:00 PM at First Baptist Church of Peachtree City, Georgia. Pastor Mark Matson and Pastor Paul Russell will officiate. Family will receive friends prior to the service beginning at 12:00 PM. Interment will be at Jackson City Cemetery in Jackson, Georgia at 4:00 PM.
Tom was born in Sarasota, Florida, on December 30, 1938. He was the first of three sons and one daughter born to the late Jesse Thomas Beckham, Sr. and the late Ethel Maxine Dearmin Beckham. He graduated from Jackson High School in Jackson, Georgia. He then attended Georgia Tech and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering.
He married the love of his life, Mary Ann Cray, in 1961. After serving in the ROTC and completing college, Tom served his country in the United States Army Chemical Corps and achieved the rank of Captain prior to his discharge from the Army Reserves.
Immediately upon his discharge, Tom began his incredible career with Georgia Power Company in 1963 as a Test Engineer and held a number of positions in Georgia’s power plants and in the executive offices. He was honored to receive many awards, recognitions and accolades during his career. Tom retired after 33 years with Georgia Power Company and Southern Nuclear Operating Company in 1997 as Vice-President of Nuclear Generation.
Tom was passionate about serving his community in many philanthropic organizations. He enjoyed serving many years in the Kiwanis organization at the local and state levels. Pancake breakfasts and golfing tournaments were a few of his favorite service projects. He was the president of the Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City and ultimately served as a District Lieutenant Governor of District 3. He faithfully served in several Masonic organizations and always maintained a membership as an active Mason.
As a man of great faith, Tom served in several Georgia churches teaching various age groups in Sunday School. Most recently, he taught Sunday School at First Baptist Church of Peachtree City, where he was a member for 22 years. He was a prayer coordinator for his class and also served as an usher.
Tom was a life-long learner and was always learning a new craft or skill. He was a self-taught painter and artist and he loved to support and encourage new and upcoming artists. Avid fisherman, skilled boatman, determined golfer, model train enthusiast, voracious reader, chef, baker and adventurous traveler describe only a smattering of his many passions and pursuits.
His most treasured memories were the extensive travels with his wife of 60 years, Mary Ann. In their most recent years together, they greatly enjoyed cruising with MSC cruise lines where they gained a large “extended family” as “Mom and Pop” of the crew and staff from all over the world.
Tom was preceded in death by his brothers, Charles Herbert Beckham and Paul Dearmin Beckham. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Mary Ann Beckham; daughter and son-in-law, Karen Beckham Russell and Paul Russell; son and daughter-in-law, Jesse Thomas “J.T.” Beckham, III and Danitza Villaran-Rokovich; grandchildren, Jessie Beckham, Desiree Russell and Mary Russell; sister, Nancy Shelby (Don); sisters-in-law, Cheryl Beckham, Shirley Beckham, Cathy Jenkins (Danny), and Dianne Wilson (Eddie); several nieces and nephews; and his faithful, furry friend, Bailey. Tom has also left many friends whose lives he touched and he will be greatly missed by many.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to the following organizations:
Electric Kids, Inc., Georgia Power Company, 241 Ralph McGill Blvd. N.E., Bin 10014, Atlanta, GA 30308, https://www.georgiapower.com/community.html.
Georgia District of Kiwanis Foundation, P.O. Box 6618, Macon, GA 31208, https://www.georgiakiwanis.com/.
Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc., 760 Spring Street, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30308, https://www.gtf.gatech.edu/.
Mowell Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Peachtree City — www.mowells.com