Date of Interview
Velda Beck was born 22 December 1925 on a farm in rural Hand County, South Dakota. She lived there with her parents and siblings until 1934, when the drought of the Dust Bowl years forced her parents to abandon the homestead and leave the area. For the next ten years, 1934-44, they rented farms in the Palisade, Minnesota, area, before purchasing a farm in Eagle Bend, Minnesota, in 1944. Velda attended school in South Dakota, then in Palisade, Minnesota; she graduated from high school there in 1943. After high school, Velda moved to Duluth, Minnesota, and worked 1943-44 as a nurse's aide at a city hospital. By this time she had met James Beck, also of Palisade, then serving with the US Army in Italy. When Jim was posted stateside in early 1944, to Camp Wheeler, Georgia, Velda moved to Macon, Georgia, where the couple was married in July 1944. Velda and Jim remained in Macon for one year, until Jim's discharge from the Army in July 1945. During this twelve month period Velda worked as an administrative assistant at Robinson Field (United States Army Air Force), and later for a local manufacturer. From 1945-47 the Becks lived in Minneapolis; Velda did office work for Auto Service Industries, and Jim completed a course of study at Dunwoody Institute. The couple then lived and worked in several smaller Minnesota towns before settling in Cloquet in 1950. After this time Velda stayed home and raised two children, working only part-time. James Beck died in October 2001. Velda has been active in the Auxiliary of VFW Post 3979, Cloquet, for more than fifty years, and has held several offices at both state and regional level. She is also active in her church, Zion Lutheran of Cloquet, and enjoys several hobbies.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Velda Beck" (2001). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 112.