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Requiescant: Bishops William Beckham, Victor Rivera

ENS122905-01
12/29/2005
[Episcopal News Service] 

William A. Beckham, retired bishop of Upper South Carolina, dies at 78

The Rt. Rev. William A. Beckham, retired Bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, died Saturday, December 24. He was 78.

A memorial service was held December 28 at Trinity Cathedral, Columbia, South Carolina. Committal followed in the church cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Cange, Haiti, Fund of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, or to York Place, the South Carolina Episcopal Church Home for Children.

Beckham was elected and installed as bishop in 1979. He served in that position until his retirement in 1994.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1955, he served parishes in Edgefield, Union, and Greenwood prior to being named archdeacon of the diocese in 1964.

He was a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Virginia Theological Seminary.

Beckham also served the wider Episcopal Church as trustee and chair of the New York-based Church Pension Fund from 1991 until 1997.

A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, Beckham served aboard the battleship U.S.S. Iowa in the Pacific theatre 1943-1945.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Harriet Wingate Beckham; a son and daughter-in-law, William A. Beckham, Jr., and Jeanie Beckham; son Stephen Andrew Beckham; and a daughter, Catherine Louise Beckham. He is also survived by seven grandchildren.

The bishop was predeceased by his son, Robert Michael Beckham. [Source: The State newspaper, Columbia, South Carolina]


Victor M. Rivera, 89, retired Bishop of San Joaquin, California

The Rt. Rev. Victor M. Rivera, third bishop of San Joaquin, California, died December 23 in Visalia, California. He was 89.

A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, in Visalia at St. Paul's Church, where Rivera served as priest from 1945 to 1968. Earlier he was vicar in 1943-44 of Grace Church in Martinez, California.

Rivera held numerous elected offices in the Fresno-based San Joaquin diocese before being elected its bishop in 1968 and serving until retirement in 1989.

Rivera was born in 1916 in Penuelas, Puerto Rico. He returned to San Juan in September 2005 to attend the House of Bishops meeting held there.

He held a 1944 bachelor's of divinity degree and a 1965 doctor of divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. He was also a 1957 graduate of St. Augustine College.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1944.

The bishop was predeceased by his wife, the former Barbara Ross Lamb, who died April 26, 2005.

Survivors include three daughters, the eldest of whom is the Rt. Rev. Bavi Edna "Nedi" Rivera, suffragan bishop of the Seattle-based Diocese of Olympia. [Source: The Diocese of San Joaquin]