William C. Beckner, Jr., a native of Iowa, passed away on July 27, 2018. He was 70. He was the son of William C. Beckner, Sr. and Anne Wilson Beckner.
Bill attended schools in Jefferson and Perry, and began his career in parks and recreation in 1966 as a recreation specialist in the United States Air Force. Following his military service, he returned home to attend Iowa State University. He received a Masters of Recreation and Parks Administration from Clemson University while working as a ranger/naturalist for the National Park Service on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Bill worked for the Mississippi State Park Commission, and was the Director of Long Range Planning for the Oregon State Park System before becoming chief naturalist for Fairfax County parks in Virginia. In 1989, Bill was appointed the Director of the Fairfax County Park Authority and served in that capacity until December of 1993, when he resigned and formed his own consulting business, providing planning and consulting services to federal, state, and local park, recreation and resource management agencies and organizations.
Bill received a number of local individual honors, and recognition for his work with the Park Authority. These include a 1993 Gold Medal finalist nomination for Special Recreation; the National Golf Foundation’s 1991 and 1992 Golf and the Environment Award; the NRPA 1991 National Aquatic Program of the Year; and two National Association of Counties Awards for Excellence and Innovation for A Community Maintenance Program; and Public Involvement in Park Planning. He was inducted into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, a group of distinguished practitioners and scholars in parks and recreation management who are committed to the advancement of that field.
Bill could be found on many evenings playing and singing bluegrass music at local jam sessions. As most friends will tell you, he had an uncanny memory about the history behind most of the songs they performed.
He is survived by his partner of 32 years, Nancy Magill; his niece, Annemarie Gremminger and a large extended family.