Spire 2022

The home is decorated in a peacock motif to commemorate the flock of peafowl that lived there from 1922 until the 1940s. Frank obtained a set of peafowl from a friend in Ohio, and his flock grew to more than twenty birds. When grain was scarce during World War II, he sold most of the peafowl to a man from Tennessee, keeping one pair. The peacock on John and Becky’s stained-glass window is named “Old Joe” after the last peacock to live on the property. The Becketts have peacock decorations from around the world through gifts and connections they made at a Rotary International Convention in Japan. Over the years, the family has welcomed many guests and hosted several events in their home, such as John and Becky’s wedding reception, a fundraiser for the Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc., and annual receptions for trustees each fall before the board’s meeting. In some rooms, John and Becky Beckett maintain Christmas lights and Christmas trees, including one with ornaments exclusively from The White House Historical Association, for guests. Becky will sometimes play Christmas carols on their antique Knabe piano, similar to the one at the Biltmore. During her seven years as Bluefield University’s Spanish professor, Becky often invited her students into the home. She recalled even giving a test to a student-athlete in her kitchen because practice hindered them from attending her evening class. John and Becky’s service to the university continues today. They alternate serving as members of the Board of Trustees, maintaining the tradition of having a family member on the board. The family is passionate about Bluefield University Athletics, Becky shared. John never wants to miss a game, much like her mother, Eva, who believed the men’s basketball team couldn’t play without her in the Dome Gymnasium. Keith Beckett, John and Becky’s son, graduated from Bluefield University in 1999, connecting four generations to the university. “Bluefield University is grateful to the Easley and Beckett families for their faithful dedication over the past 100 years,” said President David Olive. “Their love for Bluefield sets an example for all of us.”

The first two floors of the Easley’s home were constructed with stone extracted from campus.

Groundbreaking for the new Bluefield College, 1920


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