Bruce Wayne Beckett


Bruce Wayne Beckett, 71, Carthage, Missouri, a man of loving spirit and creative passion, passed away peacefully on February 6, 2024, in Joplin, Missouri. Bruce was born on August 19, 1952, in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of the late Joe Beckett and Joan (Lamey) Beckett.

He was a 1970 graduate of Carthage High School, and then furthered his education at Missouri Southern State College, where he broadened his knowledge and prepared for a future dedicated to service and craftsmanship. Bruce spent many years in the Carthage R-9 School District, ensuring that the facilities were well-maintained for staff and students alike. He also crafted eyeglasses for various optometrists’ offices. Bruce was united in marriage with Ruth Ann Hill on June 25, 1971, and to this union, a daughter, Rachel, was born. Ruth Ann preceded him in death on June 4, 2020. Bruce found a second chance at love and married Kathy (Lepley) Johnson on March 25, 2023, in Carthage, Missouri.

Bruce’s artistic soul found expression in many forms. He was an aficionado of the arts, reveling in music and the creation of beauty with his own hands. Sculpting, jewelry making, and painting were not just hobbies for Bruce but a testament to his intricate and thoughtful nature. His artworks are cherished legacies, emblematic of his attention to detail and his boundless creativity.


An avid fisherman, Bruce found solace and joy in his time with a rod and reel. Bruce was also a passionate gardener and enjoyed providing his friends, family, and church family with fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers. Yet, above all, it was his family that Bruce loved most deeply. His presence was a source of comfort and strength, and his devotion to his loved ones and to the Lord was unwavering.

Survivors include his wife, Kathy Beckett, of Carthage, Missouri; a daughter, Rachel Beckett, Carthage, Missouri; an honorary son, Honorio Cordova, Carthage, Missouri; stepchildren, Janet Johnson (Tim Scheman), St. Louis, Missouri, and Jeffrey Johnson, Galena, Kansas; two brothers, Joe Beckett (Jackie), Carthage, Missouri, and Larry Beckett (Iris), Carthage, Missouri; a sister, Judy Bitzenburg, Joplin, Missouri; and many other extended family and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 11 am, Friday, February 9, 2024, at Grand Avenue Church of God, Carthage. The burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery, Carthage. The family will receive friends from 5-7 pm, Thursday, February 8, 2024, at Knell Mortuary, Carthage. Memorial gifts are suggested to Carthage Crisis Center in care of Knell Mortuary in lieu of flowers. Online condolences may be expressed through Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of Knell Mortuary.