Joseph DeVries Beckley, 95, owned painting company

January 01, 2004

Joseph DeVries Beckley, former owner of an interior painting contracting company known for its work on historic houses, died of complications from a stroke Dec. 26 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Green Spring Valley resident was 95.

Mr. Beckley, who was known as Pat, was born in Baltimore and raised in a home on the old 40th Street campus of Roland Park Country School. He was a 1926 graduate of the Severn School and studied architecture at what is now Maryland Institute College of Art.

He began working in 1926 for John D. Beckley & Sons, the painting company his father established. He later operated the company, which was known for its interior work on such historic homes and buildings as the Wye House in Talbot County.

"He specialized in big, fancy houses in Guilford, Roland Park and out in the valley. He also did a lot of churches," said his son, John W. Beckley of Glyndon.

The company also specialized in gold leafing and architectural woodworking.

"He couldn't find the necessary craftsman, and rather than sell the firm and ruin its name, he decided to close the business in the 1960s," the son said.

Since 1939, Mr. Beckley had lived in a house designed by John Poe Tyler, which took its inspiration from historic homes in Williamsburg, Va.

Mr. Beckley enjoyed collecting antiques and was a member of the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club and the Suburban Club.

Services are private.

In 1937, he married Louise Kohn, who died in 1982. In 1985, he married Helene Grief, who survives him.

In addition, Mr. Beckley is survived by two stepdaughters, Carol Weis of Ruxton and Suzanne Applefeld of Pikesville; two grandchildren; and four stepgrandchildren.

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