Earthly life for Percy James Bekken ended October 25, 2012 at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
He was the youngest child born in Belle Fourche, South Dakota to Tillman C Bekken and Marrietta (Robinson) Bekken on June 27, 1961. He joined a sister Lorretta and a brother, John.
They lived on a farm East of Newell, moving into Newell just before Percy started grade school. In his youth he was active in Boys Scouts and was proud of his achievements. He loved to build ramps for riding his bike on until an injury to his arm slowed his conviction to the sport. In school he was active in the music program with his trombone and his voice. He was active in his church in Luther League. During his high school years he had a job delivering papers for the Rapid City Journal and also worked at the 212 – 79 Service Station doing whatever needed to be done. His work there encouraged his love of being a meticulous mechanic on his vehicles and the vehicles for the Fire Department and his “work” vehicles.
After graduation from Newell High School in 1979 Percy worked several years for the Locker Plant in Newell. While his fingers were still attached he opted for a job change and worked for a number of years in Meade County first, as a dispatcher, then head dispatcher, followed by Emergency 911 Coordinator. He became a very good listener in this job. After several years in this position he worked out of the Meade County Sheriffs department as a Reserve Deputy and as a Civil Process Deputy. Each of these jobs gave him a chance to make new friends and interact with their families. Another job change brought him back to Butte County as the Emergency Management Coordinator and many more friends.
Percy had a great many community interests including the Newell Fire Department for which he served as Treasurer and President and a few other committees for them through the years. He and his Mom both gave time on the Newell Ambulance Crew.
Percy joined the Wyoming State Marching Band as a chaperone with his Band Director brother John to the Rose Bowl Parade in 2000 with a group of 515 students. Other trips for Percy as a chaperone included: two more trips to Pasadena, CA, an Inauguration Parade in Washington DC and a trip to Hawaii. This year he was planning to chaperone the Band to the Macy’s Day Parade and also “march” with the Band. He had been getting “in shape” by walking several miles or riding his bike at night. He took numerous photos of the Band during the year which were posted on web pages for the students.
He had a love of Photography and taking pictures to document Fire trucks, fires, family and enough pictures of Bear Butte to fill a large book. He loved to fish and hunt with family and friends.
He leaves behind his sister Lorretta (Clyde) Hafner, Bison, South Dakota; Brother John (Pat), Lander Wyoming; Nephews: Terry Hafner, Bison SD: Trevor (Christina) Bekken, Lander WY and Brook Bekken of Hudson, WY. Great nieces: Nicole Hafner, Bison SD and Easton Bekken of Lander, WY and great step nephew Gerald Hafner of Bison SD and a several cousins.
Percy was preceded in death by nephew Rick Hafner in 1994, his Father Tillman in 1998 and Mother, Marrietta in 2003.
Visitation will be noon until 9 p.m. on Wednesday at the Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, November 1, 2012 at the Austin Auditorium in Newell with Rev. Marcia Brennan officiating. Burial follows at the Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery at Zeona.
Memorials have been established to the Newell Volunteer Ambulance and Fire Departments.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals .com.