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Mary Amanda Near Beckman

July 6, 2016
Westfield Republican

BEVERLY - Mary Amanda Near Beckman, age 54 of Beverly, MA, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on December 31, 2015 at Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, MA after beating breast cancer for many years.

Born on July 2, 1961 in Westfield, NY, the daughter of the late Emily (Aular) and Malcolm Near, Mary graduated from Westfield Academy and Central School in 1979, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in 1983 where she was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. After living in New York City, she moved to Boston, then Beverly, Massachusetts and married her husband, William Beckman in 1990.

Mary spent 16 years as an account executive for Irma Mann Strategic Marketing (ISM) in Boston, after working for the Hertz Corporation in New York City. After leaving Irma Mann, she and her husband opened Custom Medicine Pharmacenter in 2004, a compounding pharmacy in Beverly serving the needs of patients with special medicine requirements. Mary served as Director of Marketing and Education, as well as business manager.

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Mary Amanda Near Beckman

An accomplished singer, Mary sang and toured with the Hendricks Chapel Choir of Syracuse University, sang with the avant garde New York chorus The Occasionals (directed by former Highwaymen leader Gil Robbins), and Boston-based Chorus Pro Musica, where she sang for the chorus of the Boston Opera Company, even performing for Leonard Bernstein.

Although not a Beverly native, Mary dedicated much of her time to the community. She volunteered her time as a costume designer and creator, as well as chaperone for the Beverly High School music department. She and her husband hosted multiple students through the Rotary Youth Exchange Student program. She also volunteered as a board member of the Beverly Main Streets committee.

Mary loved to travel and visited 45 of the United States, as well as countless foreign countries. She traveled extensively with her husband and son, and her two childhood friends, Hilary Newell and Libby Mead Fox. Her laughter was infectious and her willingness to always be ready for an adventure will be missed by all who loved her.

She is survived by her husband, William (Bill) and son, Ian, a senior at Clemson University, both of Beverly, MA.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Emily and Malcolm Near of Westfield.

A memorial celebration of her life will be held Saturday July 9 at the First Presbyterian Church of Westfield at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Beverly High School Music Department and the Patterson Library. Log on to to send Mary's family a message of sympathy, to light a Memorial Candle or for further information.



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