Home Opinion Editorial Remembering RDR publisher Robert Beck

Remembering RDR publisher Robert Beck

Marjorie and Robert Beck. (Submitted Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

A young new couple had moved to town. The man was a decorated Air Force pilot. The beautiful young lady was the daughter of the owner of the local newspaper, who had graduated cum laude from University of Wisconsin. It was almost 1950. The young man started employment at the newspaper in the mailroom, working his way up the ladder.

He was quiet, responsible and worked hard, becoming circulation director and eventually publisher and owner of the newspaper.

He once saved the life of a young boy who almost drowned at Bottomless Lakes on a company outing, but his family never knew of his valor. He was quiet and honorable, not being one to boast about his good deeds.

The years passed, the couple had four children. The young man worked hard, giving back to the community by helping create the current library, serving on the board of regents at Eastern New Mexico University, the Pioneer Bank board, on the governor’s organized crime commission and other community boards. The couple both believed in making their community a better place.

The young lady divided her time between her family, serving as newspaper correspondent during Legislature sessions and community concerns. They both contributed to the community to make New Mexico a state that they could be proud to live in.

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That young couple were my parents. My dad died recently. Sadly, his son, also a publisher, had died before him, much too young.

My dad was the kind of person who quietly observed everything and did what needed to be done without expecting a reward or acknowledgement for it.

His memory lives in the newspaper building he created, the press which he had bought that still produces our newspaper today and in the people he supported and helped. He is one of many among the past and current “Roswell Daily Record” employees who believed in the importance of a daily community newspaper and worked hard to see that the newspaper was delivered six days a week.

My dad told me before he died that he was sad to see that people didn’t seem to want to read newspapers as much and commented on how important he thought newspapers were to the community.

He said that is why he stayed at the “Roswell Daily Record” instead of working as a commercial airline pilot, his prior career.

My dad said he believed the newspaper’s job was to give a voice to those in the Roswell community. He understood the challenges of running a small daily newspaper with demanding deadlines and lowered subscriptions. It was his (and his son Cory’s) due (and the hard work of many employees and carriers) that in all the decades of thousands of press deadlines, there was only one day since 1891 that the newspaper was not delivered to the community — which was due to winter storm Goliath in 2015, when it was too dangerous for carriers to deliver the newspaper due to snow drifts, and a state of emergency was declared in New Mexico.

My dad is buried in Santa Fe, at the National Cemetery, along with many others who did so much for their country. Due to his quiet voice, many people may not be aware of his many accomplishments. He told me often that it’s not what you say, but what you do that matters.

He also said that the best lived life was one where you might make mistakes, but the only fatal mistake was not to try. May he rest in peace.

Barbara Beck is publisher of the Roswell Daily Record. She can be reached at bbeck@rdrnews.com.

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