Edwin Nevins Beck of Arlington, Wash., passed peacefully on Dec. 17, 2018, at the age of 88. He was born on Sept. 26, 1930, to Matthias and Rena Nevins Beck in Seattle, Wash. He graduated from South Bend High School in Pacific County and attended the Centralia College and the University of Washington. He married Helene McNulty in 1951 and shortly thereafter established Beck “Bilt” Boats in an old warehouse in South Bend, Wash. The loft of that warehouse was their first home and quickly filled with their first three children.
In search of greater opportunities Ed moved his family to Seattle, Wash., in 1957 where he built and sold two homes before going to Alaska as a shipwright in the summer of 1963. Inspired, he came home, pulled out the drawing board and designed what would become the “Chignik Seiner” for the Chignik salmon fishery.
Ed fished out of Chignik from 1964 to his retirement. During the winters he worked at Delta Marine Industries until the early 1970s, when he re-established Beck Built Boats in North Seattle. He designed and built 40 to 48 ft. purse seiners for the Chignik fishery, 32 ft. gill netters for Bristol Bay and 28 ft. Bow Pickers for Prince William Sound. In 1981, Ed moved the boat shop to Arlington, Wash. where he continued to build boats until his retirement in 1993.
In retirement, Ed and Helene traveled in their RV and spent part of the year in Yuma, Calif. However, Ed couldn’t stop building boats. In 2005, Ed ordered a hull and finished a 34 ft. charter boat in his backyard which became the genesis for Top Notch Charters, still operating out of La Push, Wash.
Ed greatly loved his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and always displayed loving concern for them along with a genuine interest in their activities. He was also very supportive of others in the fishing and boat building industries.
Edwin was preceded in death by his parents Matthias and Rena, his step-mother Erma Beck, brother Larry, sister Dorothy, his wife Helene, daughter Lori Susan, grandson Cory Edwin Simonson and great-granddaughter Alexia Christiansen.
He is survived by his children: Karen Grimsby (Kenneth), Colleen Taucher (Marty), Timm Beck, Mark Beck (Monica) and Pamela Buckley (Sean). He is, also, survived by his grandchildren: Angela Christiansen (CJ), Matthew Taucher (Alexia), Evan Beck, Kevin Taucher and Riley Beck, five great-grandchildren and his companion Nettie Nelson.
Condolences may be left at www.floralhillslynnwood.com. Donations may be made to the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial Educational Scholarship at www.seattlefishermensmemorial.org.