Exeter’s Jim Beckett Death – Jim Beckett of Exeter is remembered for his love of his family, his sense of humor, and his sense of community. The Exeter Times-longtime Advocate’s former publisher Beckett passed away on January 12 at the age of 75. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barb, his sons Derek (Jennifer) and Ryan and grandchildren Drew, Cam and Olivia. For 41 years, Beckett worked in the newspaper industry. He worked for the Chatham, Orangeville, and Brampton newspapers before joining the Exeter T-A in 1975. He managed the newspaper’s 1,800 editions until his retirement in February 2008.
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When Beckett retired in 2008, he cited the variety of each week as one of the things he valued most about his work. “It’s constant change,” he said. Beckett was actively involved in the community in addition to his job with the newspaper, including the Exeter Lions Club, Exeter Minor Hockey, and the Conservation Dinner. His obituary noted that, “Jim will be fondly remembered for his great sense of humour, quick wit and love for a good prank. He would also like it to be noted that he was up 14 games on his lifetime cribbage rival and dear friend, Bruce Shaw.”
Shaw disclosed to the T-A that for almost 40 years, he and Beckett were very good friends. When Beckett moved to the town and Shaw was mayor, according to him, the two met. Shaw said he’ll remember Beckett for “having the most outrageous sense of humour, and often at his own expense.” But in addition, Shaw described his friend as “a decent, caring and thoughtful person.” Over the course of their friendship, Shaw and Beckett are said to have played tens of thousands of games of cribbage together. In recent years, Shaw and his wife Darlene would get together with the Becketts on Fridays to play cribbage and have dinner.
Shaw also mentioned Beckett’s community commitment. He said, “I’m going to miss a really close friend. Manager T-A Deb Lord ” says, “Jim had a larger than life personality and definitely had a heart of gold. A true treasure in our community. Jim was a great individual to work for professionally. He always took good care of his staff. So many memories of the shenanigans and good times we shared, but also memories of his thoughtful and caring character. I know anyone who met Jim was left with a positive and lasting impression.”
“We were all saddened to hear the news about Jim,” T-A editor Scott Nixon said. “Jim was a great boss, and I have many fond memories of working with him. We may have laughed more than we worked on certain days. The legendary T-A staff Christmas parties that Jim and Barb hosted at their house will always be remembered. I’ll miss Jim’s compassion and his wonderful sense of humor. On January 20, a memorial service for Beckett will be conducted in the Exeter Lions Den.
PC: Derek Beckett
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