URBANA – Lilian H. Beck, 90, died Jan. 21, 2013, at Clark Lindsey Village.
Lilian was born in Atlantic Mine, Mich., on Sept. 5, 1922, the second daughter of John and Mayme Heikkinen. Lilian was raised in Atlantic Mine and graduated from Adams Township High School. She attended Purdue University and graduated from Michigan Technological University with a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering with high honors. She was the first woman from Michigan Technological University to be inducted into Alpha Sigma Mu - the honorary fraternity of the International Metallurgical Society.
During World War II, she was employed by the General Motors Corporation in Flint, Mich., and by the Curtis Wright Corporation in Columbus, Ohio. After graduation, she was employed as a metallurgist at the Stagg Field Institute for the Study of Metals at the University of Chicago from 1947 to 1950.
Later, she was employed in the Pomology Division of the Department of Horticulture and as Editor of Engineering Publications for the Department of Electrical Engineering until her retirement in 1997.
Her favorite activities included swimming, furniture refinishing, and reading. She was a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Lilian was preceded in death by her parents and by her sisters, Esther Dennis and Leah Shulte. She is survived by two sons, Paul Beck of Champaign and Philip Beck of Dallas, Texas. She has five grandchildren, Stephanie Beck of Champaign, Allison Beck of Tallahassee, Fla., Byron Beck of Marietta, Ga., Kevin Beck of Dallas, Texas, and Preston Beck of Dallas, Texas.
While no services will be held locally, expressions of sympathy can be left at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com. Memorial contributions may be made to Clark-Lindsey in Urbana.