Pat Beckman Remembered for her Contributions

Gloria Patricia (Pat) Beckman is shown (center) along with (from left) former Beckman Institute Directors Pierre Wiltzius, Ted Brown, and Jiri Jonas, and her nephew Arnold Beckman and his wife, Pamela, at the Beckman Institute 20th anniversary Celebration held here in April of 2009.

Gloria Patricia (Pat) Beckman, daughter of Beckman Institute benefactors Arnold and Mabel Beckman, has died. She was 78. Pat Beckman served on many boards and foundations, including the Beckman Foundation, and visited here in 2009 as a featured guest and speaker at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the opening of the Beckman Institute.   

Gloria Patricia Beckman, daughter of Beckman Institute benefactors Arnold and Mabel Beckman, has died. She was 78.

Patricia, or Pat as she was known to her many friends, was born in 1933. She was their only daughter and is survived by her brother Arnie Beckman.

Pat Beckman served on many boards and foundations, including the Beckman Foundation, and was an important contributor to the advancement of science in her own right. She was an active member of the board of the Beckman Foundation and was the Founding President of the Orange County Chapter of the ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scholars) Foundation, a national volunteer women’s organization that provides scholarship awards to students in science, medicine, and engineering.

It was Pat Beckman who talked to Arnold about his “seven rules for success” and wrote them down as Rules that Govern My Life. They adorn a glass etching that was unveiled as part of the Arnold Beckman memorial service held at the Institute. They have become widely distributed and copies of them are in the Arnold Beckman Exhibit in the Beckman rotunda underneath the display “A Generous Heart: Beckman’s Philanthropy.” Pat said the first rule on that list was her father’s most important advice for himself and others.

“His emphasis, number one, was: maintain integrity,” Pat said in 2004. “That one you can underline, shout from the rooftops. That was Arnold Beckman.”

In the biography Arnold O Beckman: One Hundred Years of Excellence, Pat remembered her father as even-tempered, and scrupulously honest. Their family life in Altadena, Calif., in the 1930s and ‘40s was described as one with a very busy father who still found time for family and outings such as camping trips and sailing.  

Pat earned bachelor of science degrees in occupational therapy and in nursing, and worked as an occupational therapist and registered nurse.

Pat Beckman visited the Beckman Institute many times, including while accompanying her father during the 10th anniversary of the Institute’s opening in 1999 when at age 99 Arnold famously played the piano during his last visit to the facility. Pat visited here in 2009, as a featured guest and speaker at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the opening of the Beckman Institute.   

After Mabel’s death in 1989 Pat moved in with Arnold in his home in Corona Del Mar, Calif., and continued living there after Arnold passed away in 2004. For more on the life of Pat Beckman click here.