Robert Gale Beckwith Jr.


Mr. Robert Gale Beckwith Jr., 73, husband of the Rev. Claire Morfit Hunkins and a resident of Oak Hall, passed away Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Born Feb. 22, 1949, in Vicksburg, Mich., and raised in Fairfax, Va., he was the son of the late Robert Gale Beckwith Sr. and the late Evelyn Elaine Gilliland Beckwith.

Whether known to family and friends as Bob, Robert, or Gale, he was well respected throughout his career in Washington, D.C., and was a beloved member of several communities throughout Accomack County. Following high school, he briefly attended Virginia Tech prior to accepting a position with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (NCCBH) in D.C. In retirement, Bob relocated to Trails End on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and began working part time for the Chincoteague National History Association (CNHA) Friends Group at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. At CNHA, he assisted with the gift store, provided guided wildlife tours, and was responsible for oversight of the famous Assateague Lighthouse. After COVID-19, Bob served as a greeter at the Virginia Tourism Welcome Center in New Church and continued to volunteer at the refuge. Always looking to expand his spiritual life, Bob practiced Zen Buddhism and Episcopalian faiths and attended Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Jenkins Bridge. He loved chocolate, ice cream, cookies, his many friends – both old and new, shoes, wool socks, and his koi pond. Bob was a loving husband and adored his two children, both of whom made him proud.

Survivors include his loving wife, Claire; his children, Amelia-Scout Beckwith (Hunter), of Horntown, and Brian Beckwith (Alex), of Lakewood, Colo.; sister, Nan Kelley Thomasson (Steve), of Sterling, Va.; niece, Kelly Mitchell (Eric), of Ocean City, Md.; stepchildren, Christina Velasquez, of Flint, Mich., Petra Velasquez, of Fort Wayne, Ind., Jessica Velasquez, of Canton, Ohio, Eric Velasquez (Alex), of El Paso, Texas, and Larry Velasquez (Wanda), of Phoenix, Ariz.; and numerous step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

The family will greet friends at the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, from 4 to 6 p.m. A memorial service will be held at The Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Jenkins Bridge on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Robert Coniglio officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Bob’s memory to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, ATTN: Administrative Officer, 8231 Beach Road, Chincoteague, VA 23336 (Please make checks payable to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and include memo: In memory of Robert Beckwith Jr.) or to Emmanuel Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 186, Oak Hall, VA 23416.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements are by the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home.
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