Beloved "Mr. B", Richard Besecker, former Greencastle-Antrim music educator passes away

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Richard E. Besecker, 77, a resident of the Shook Home, Chambersburg, for the past 3 years and formerly of 508 E. Baltimore St., Greencastle, died at 10:21 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010.

Born March 7, 1933 in Waynesboro, he was the son of the late Edward I. and Edith (Shuck) Besecker.

He was a 1951 graduate of Hagerstown High School and received his B.S. degree from Lebanon Valley College in Annville. He studied additionally at Penn State University, Shippensburg University and at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.  

Mr. Besecker was a life-long resident and inspiration to the community of Greencastle. He was employed for nearly 34 years as a music teacher in the Greencastle-Antrim School District, having retired in 1989. Affectionately known as Mr. “B” to his students, he inspired many under his tutelage to love music as well as encouraged them to pursue it as a fulfilling career. Perhaps even more significant was the interest he showed in the lives of his students.

He was a life vice president of the Old Home Week Association of Greencastle, where he served as music director for the pageant and also directed the Sunday evening cantata.

Mr. Besecker was an active member of Grace Bible Church of Greencastle and Gideons International.

He was also a member of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Susan (Meyers) Besecker; daughter, Lois and husband Dr. Ted Bowlus, of Ohio; son, David and wife Darlanna of Chambersburg; seven grandchildren, Tony, Cari, Sarah, Abby, Allison, Brianna and Jonathan; two great-grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20 in Grace Bible Church, 2327 Hoffman Road, Greencastle, with Rev. Herman Fisler officiating. Any person in attendance who sang in one of Mr. “B's” choirs will be invited to sing in a rendition of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” at the conclusion of the service.

Burial will be in the Beautiful View Cemetery, State Line.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday in the Harold M. Zimmerman And Son Funeral Home, 45 S. Carlisle St., Greencastle, and at the church one hour before the service on Saturday.    

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Grace Bible Church, 2327 Hoffman Road, Greencastle, PA 17225 or to The Gideons International, P.O. Box 724, Greencastle, PA  17225 or to the Richard Besecker Scholarship Fund, C/O Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation, 217 E. Baltimore St., Greencastle, PA 17225.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Mr. Besecker and his wife, Sue, were the center of attention at the cantata during the 2007 Old Home Week celebration. He was the former musical director of the event Richard Besecker and his wife Sue. Besecker was unable to participate that year for health reasons.