Merritt Miller Beck III, 65, of Centralia, passed away on Sunday, June 3, 2018 after a lengthy illness.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 6 at the Centralia United Methodist Church with burial to follow in the Centralia City Cemetery. There will be no visitation.
Merritt was born to the late Dr. M.M. Beck and Dorothy Smith Beck in Farmington on Dec. 8, 1952.
Growing up in Bismarck, Mo., Merritt graduated from Bismarck High School in 1971.
After attaining a journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1975, Merritt went on to obtain his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1978.
Merritt joined the law firm of Ausmus & Ausmus in 1978. In 1982, he was made a partner, and the firm changed its name to Ausmus, Ausmus & Beck.
During the 38 years he practiced law, Merritt served the City of Centralia as city attorney for 36 of those years.
Merritt was active in his community, serving in various offices of the Jaycees, and Kiwanis Clubs.
He was a man of strong faith and an active member of the Centralia United Methodist Church, where he was a delegate to the annual conference for many years. Merritt loved music and played drums and sang with the Praise Team. His outreach ministries included doing legal work for Habitat for Humanity.
Merritt was an avid Mizzou sports fan, holding season football tickets for over 40 years. He spent many hours following Cardinals baseball.
He will be deeply missed by his wife, Ann, of 37 years; son, Brian Beck and wife, Hannah; daughter, Rachel (Beck) Gillaspie and husband, Cody; sister, Julie Beck; brother-in-law, Eric McClure and wife, Janet; nieces, Shelly Bird (Eric), Carrie Fink (Kyle), and Melanie Setser (Justin); and mother-in-law, Thelma McClure.
Memorial donations are suggested to the Centralia United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 108, Centralia, Mo. 65240 or the Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity, 1906 Monroe St., Columbia, Mo. 65201.
Arrangements are under the direction of Fenton Funeral Chapel in Centralia.
Online condolences may be left at www.fentonfuneralchapel.com