William J. Beckett ’57 died on January 19, 2012, in South Burlington, Vermont.
He was born in Los Angeles, Calif. on Oct. 25, 1931, and prepared for college at Susan Dorsey High School in Los Angeles and Gould Academy. After serving in the Army and training in radio and communications at Fort Devens, he enrolled at Bowdoin, where he was a James Bowdoin Scholar. He earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 1958 and a doctorate in 1962, both from Brown University. In 1960, he was hired to teach epistemology, symbolic logic, philosophy of science, and Wittgenstein’s philosophy at the University of Vermont, where he remained a tenured professor until 1975. In 1975, he moved to Honolulu and sold men’s clothing. Fifteen years later, he moved to Santa Rosa, Calif., where he worked in a winery tasting room and took care of the winery cat. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Nancy Jackson Beckett; a son, David Beckett; and two grandchildren.