Marjory "Mardy" Catherine Beck

February 12, 1927 ~ December 20, 2020 (age 93)


Dr. Marjory Beck, professor emerita at Bemidji State University, passed away peacefully at Goldpine Home in Bemidji on December 20. She was 93 years old.

Born and raised in Montreal, Mardy left her beloved Canada to attend Russell Sage College in New York where she earned her BS and MS degrees then taught at the University of British Columbia and Mount Holyoke before earning her PhD at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Beck taught at Bemidji State from 1963 to 1989 where she chaired the Women's Physical Education Department and taught kinesiology, foundations of physical education, canoeing and skiing. She was a wonderful teacher who led her students beyond facts to develop critical thinking skills. Away from the classroom her leadership impacted women's intercollegiate athletics in Minnesota in numerous ways. She was the first BSU women’s athletics coordinator and a key player in the establishment of the Minn-Kota Conference, one of the first women's athletic conferences in the country.  She was the first president of the Minn-Kota Conference and also the first president of the Minnesota Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.  When the Minn-Kota Conference dissolved and the Northern Sun Conference was formed she served as the first president. 

Mardy's zest for life led her to a variety of activities.  She loved travel, skiing, and camping and canoeing in "blue lake and rocky shore" country. When possible she hiked, paddled, and rafted while exploring this country and the globe, and visited numerous interesting places on all 7 continents plus the north pole on an icebreaker. Wherever she paused from her travels to sit she knitted, her needles flashing and clicking at breakneck speed. Always generous, she shared her hand-knit socks with friends, family and the community. Mardy believed life was better when enjoyed with dogs. She shared her life always with sporting dogs and dearly loved and was devoted to each of them.

Mardy is survived and very missed by dear friends in Minnesota; cousins in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec; her English cocker spaniel; and many who enjoyed her sense of humor and love of learning.

Per her wishes no service is planned. She will be interred in her family plot at Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal and honored there by family when they are able to gather. Gifts in her memory may be made in the form of contributions to the Dr. Marjory C. Beck Sport Sciences Endowment Fund at the Bemidji State University Foundation or in her honor with the charity of your choice.

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