Obituary: Leo William Beckstead Feb 9, 1949 – Dec. 24, 2022

On December 24, 2022, Leo William Beckstead, beloved husband and father, passed away.  

Born on February 9, 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Leo was the youngest of six children to Merrill “Jake” and Vera Beckstead.  Leo was very athletic; he loved playing basketball and was a track star.  He graduated from East High School in 1967 and went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in Metallurgy in 1971 and a PhD in Metallurgy in 1975, both from the University of Utah.

In 1972, Leo married Lorene Smith in the Oakland Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Upon graduating with his PhD, he accepted a job in Alta Loma, California, where he worked for Occidental Research and Development for two years.  From there, he and Lorene moved to Arvada, Colorado, where Leo worked for 17 years at AMAX Research and Development.  In 1994, the family moved one more time to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where Leo began working for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  He retired from the Laboratory in 2013.   

Leo loved the outdoors and fishing.  He also loved professional sports and was an avid Lakers, Yankees, and Broncos fan. In his later years, he enjoyed playing both computer and board games with family.

Leo is survived by his wife, Lorene, and his children; Lyn Greenwood (Virgil), Benjamin (Carrie), Jennifer Langford (Sherman), Michael (Annie), Eric (Sarah); 17 grandchildren; brother Merrill (Nannette), sister Judy Billeter Dunford, and brother-in-law Clyde Ford. He is preceded in death by his parents, Merrill “Jake” and Vera Beckstead; and siblings Leone Chipman, Diane Berntsen, and Cheryl Ford.  

Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 30, at 11:00AM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 1967 18th St. Los Alamos, NM 87544.  

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