The late Don Van Beck, a man known for his passion for veterans, is being honored and remembered by the city of Leesburg. Local officials announced they will host a ceremony dedicating the Don Van Beck Memorial Walkway at 10am Nov. 8 at Veterans Memorial Park, 600 West Meadow St., Leesburg.
“Mr. Van Beck loved veterans and his work on their behalf was unwavering,” Leesburg City Manager Al Minner says in a press release. “Veterans Memorial Park is his legacy to our community and naming the walkway in recognition of his efforts is only fitting and is a great way to honor his life and his dedication to all who have served our country.”
A U.S. Army veteran, Don served during both World War II and the Korean War and was the driving force behind the renaming of the park and the funding and construction of the Veterans Memorial Wall, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial and the World War II Memorial. He was inducted into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame in May 2018 in recognition of his tireless service to veterans.
“I am most proud of the Huey helicopter for veterans of the Vietnam War,” Don told Lake & Sumter Style in a 2018 interview about the chopper and crew displayed on top a 15-foot pole. “The monuments in the entire park can now be used to teach kids about the wars.”
Don died Nov. 13, 2018, at the age of 90.
A granite walkway marker will be placed in the area of the memorial wall in Don’s honor. The public is invited to attend the ceremony.