Published November 27, 2020

MELROSE — John W. Beck Jr., 74, resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully with his family by his side at his home.

Born on March 2, 1946, in Cambridge, Jack (as he was called) was one of three children of the late John W. and Mary (Ehler) Beck Sr.

He grew up in Cambridge and graduated from Cambridge High and Latin. He enjoyed candlepin bowling and was in numerous leagues throughout his youth. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1966 and served as a platoon commander during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in 1968 as a 1st Lieutenant, receiving a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars.

After Jack’s service to his country, he married Jeanne Sasso on July 2, 1972. They settled in Melrose to raise their family.

Jack went to work as a refrigeration mechanic for industrial HVAC repair and maintenance and was a proud member of Pipefitters Local No. 537.

Jack was larger than life and a huge presence in the lives of his family and friends. He was a loving and caring father and an amazing “papa” to his three grandchildren who meant the world to him. He was an avid sci-fi fan who was fascinated with space, especially Mars, and dreamed of being able to travel there one day.

A meticulous planner, Jack loved planning for travel as much as he loved traveling itself. He visited all the continents except Antarctica and enjoyed planning cruises for his Melrose High School Band family. Cruising was his favorite way to see the world, and he and Jeanne sailed to 60 countries together. If Jack was near or on the water, he was a happy man.

Jack’s generosity, enthusiasm and spirit of adventure will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him.

John was the beloved husband of Jeanne (Sasso) Beck, with whom he shared 48 years of marriage. Devoted father of Gina Beck McCormick and her husband Kirk of Reading, and John W. Beck III and his wife Elizabeth Janiak of Somerville. Loving brother of Charles Beck of North Reading and Elizabeth Carman and her husband Russell of Wakefield. Cherished grandfather of Clara and Eleanor McCormick and Chester Beck. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews.

Services with military funeral honors for John will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.

In honor of John’s life, the family asks everyone to please remember to wear a mask.

To leave a message of love and support for the family, visit