Bishop Peter Hess Beckwith
September 8, 1939 - October 4, 2019
Bishop Peter Hess Beckwith, 80, entered into glory on Friday, October 4 after a short illness, with his wife and two sons at his side. He was born September 8, 1939 in Battle Creek, Michigan to Robert & Florence “Frosty” (Hess) Beckwith. Peter was married July 10, 1965 to Melinda (Foulke) Beckwith.
Peter graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Hillsdale College, a Master of Divinity from University of the South Sewanee, and a Master of Sacred Theology from Nashotah House Theological Seminary. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Theology from Hillsdale College and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Nashotah House. Bishop Beckwith served 18 years as the Episcopal Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, retiring in 2010. It was there he also served as a chaplain to the Illinois State Police, an office he held until his passing. In May of 2014, Bishop Beckwith was appointed an Assisting Bishop for the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes in the Anglican Church in North America. Bishop Beckwith also served his country in the Chaplain Corps of the United States Navy Reserve for 27 years. He retired in September 1999 as the Deputy Chief of Chaplain for Total Force with the rank of Rear Admiral (RDML). He served as College Chaplain for Hillsdale College from 2010-2016 where he retired and was named Chaplain Emeritus. Bishop Beckwith was active in Delta Tau Delta’s Kappa Chapter, where he served as both Chapter Adviser and Chaplain.
He is survived by his wife Melinda of 54 years, two sons, Peter II (wife Fiona) Beckwith, of Westerville, Ohio and Mike (wife Martina) Beckwith of Eagle, Colorado; four grandchildren, Lauren, Nikki, Emma and Mishko Beckwith; and brother, Jon (wife Kathy) Beckwith of Hillsdale. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Robert E. Beckwith, Jr.
Peter’s life was centered on the warmth of giving and sincere concern for others. Whether from the pulpit, or in one-on-one private conversations, he was always honest and straight forward, yet thoughtful and relatable. Peter will always be positively remembered by his parishioners, acquaintances, friends, and loving family which he cherished deeply.
The Beckwith family will receive friends for visitation Thursday, from 5-8, PM, at the VanHorn-Eagle Funeral Home in Hillsdale. Funeral services for Bishop Peter Beckwith will be held Friday, October 18, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Christ Chapel of Hillsdale College with Bishop Ronald Jackson officiating. Fr. Adam and the Choir of Holy Trinity Parish will assist. Interment will follow at Lake View Cemetery in Hillsdale. A reception will follow at the Searle Center of Hillsdale College.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes (ACNA), Holy Trinity Parish in Hillsdale, or Christ Chapel at Hillsdale College.
Fr. Adam Rick
A prayerbook Christian with a patristic twist.