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Lieutenant Michael Paul Beckley, formerly of the Nassau County Police Department, passed over to
paradise in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 7th. His loving wife, Gladys Beckley (neé
Sanchez) was at his side. He was 87. Mike, as he was known to his friends and family, was preceded in
death by his parents, Paul and Frances Beckley of Elmont, New York.
He joined the Nassau County Police Department in 1958 and served the community for forty honorable
years, with tours of duty in the 1st, 4th, and 5th precincts, the Emergency Ambulance Bureau, the Police
Firing Range, the Police Academy, and the Highway Patrol.
He was an early advocate and had a lifelong dedication to raising the standards of law-enforcement
training with a focus on firearms training and defensive tactics with the goal of protecting the public and
the police by using the minimal amount of effective force in patrolling and serving the community. He
was a graduate of the FBI National Academy, a Shodan in Kodokan Judo, and the long-serving president
of the International Association of Law Enforcement and Firearms Instructors.
In 1961, Mike met Gladys Sanchez at a dance in New York City. They married in 1966 and made a home
for their three children, Michael, Paul and Thomas, in Lindenhurst, Long Island. He was a dedicated
family man, whose best description may be that he was a person who showed up. From little league, to
wrestling matches, to cross-country meets, Mike was there to encourage, support and show unconditional
pride. He was easily recognized at so many of sons’ activities by a mix of camouflage coveralls or his
safety orange “Elmer Fud” hat.
He was a loyal friend and brother, willing to make serious personal sacrifices for those he loved and
respected because he knew it was the right thing to do.
Retiring to Greenville, South Carolina, in 1999, Mike found a new passion in riding his tractor, using
chainsaws to the great consternation of his family and curating a collection of tools, foul-weather gear and
range equipment that was second to none.
He deeply loved and enjoyed his nine grandchildren, getting to know their interests and being a regular
source of silliness and mirth for all of them. He was a good playmate and children liked him.
Though a lifelong agnostic, he supported his family’s Catholic faith, turning out for Mass each week and
being present for the sacramental milestones of his children and grandchildren. In the week before his
death, he surprised his family by asking to be received and confirmed into the Catholic Church. A few
days after, he received the last sacraments from Fr. Joseph Baidoo, of St. Boniface Catholic Church, a few
blocks from Mike’s childhood home.
Michael Beckley is survived by his wife, Gladys, his sister, Laurel, his brother, Patrick and his sons,
Michael, Paul and Thomas. He leaves as well his daughters-in-law, Suwanna, Monica and Laura and
their children Maya, Carmen, Sofia, Amanda, Elizabeth, Sally, August, Violet and Polly.
Services will be observed with a wake on Friday, 13 October, from 2:00p–4:00p and 7:00p-9:00p at
Flinch and Bruns Funeral Home, 34 Hempstead Ave. Lynbrook, NY, 11563. A funeral Mass will be
offered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 210 S. Wellwood Ave. Lindenhurst, NY 11757, on
Saturday, 14 October at 9:00a with a burial to follow at Pinelawn Cemetery at 10:30a.