Albert William Beck (SHS 1949) was born April 4, 1931, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Scarsdale, New York. Despite his East coast upbringing, Al found a greater connection to the land and people of the Midwest, where he lived, created art, and taught legions of students for most of his adult life. He passed away in Quincy, Illinois at the age of 87 on May 16, 2018.
After spending time in the greater Cleveland area, a brief year in Kansas City, followed by life in Quincy, Illinois and summers working in western Massachusetts, Al finally settled on 76 acres outside of Monroe City, Missouri, which he fondly named Rocky Hollow. There, he designed and built a Japanese-style earth shelter home, accompanied by a geodesic dome plant nursery and a personal art gallery christened the Pyrapod, a triangular building with copper sheeting. In this quiet, peaceful location with his devoted third wife, the artist Carmen Federowich, he created art, wrote poetry, and regaled family, friends, acquaintances, and guests with folk songs (accompanying himself on the banjo), stories, philosophy, and home cooking. Following Carmen’s death in 2013, he retired to Good Samaritan Home in Quincy.
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