Clifford H. Becker
Clifford H. Becker, age 91, North Fond
du Lac, passed away peacefully Friday, June 2, 2017, at The Woodlands Senior
Living Center in Fond du Lac, with his family by his side.
Cliff was born December 2, 1925,
in Fond du Lac, the second son of Irving and Anna (nee Bastian) Becker. He
spent his boyhood in Fond du Lac and graduated from Goodrich High School in
1943. Cliff sought to enlist in the U.S. Navy, but was nearly turned down for
two health issues: damaged vision in one eye from an errant rock, and a dark
spot on one lung from a bout with tuberculosis as a boy. During his physical,
he pleaded with the doctor, who said, if Cliff could catch up to his buddies
who were boarding the train,that was good enough for him. Cliff took off
running with clothes in hand and chased down his friends who were boarding the
train to Great Lakes Naval Station in Waukegan, Illinois.
Cliff served in the Pacific Theater during World War II as a
seaplane mechanic on Catalina Flying Boats, stationed in Guam and Saipan. He
helped search for downed B29 airmen in the vast ocean. Unaware to him, and his
squad, they were only a few miles from the takeoff site when the Enola Gay
secretly left for Hiroshima. After the war, Cliff became a member of the North
Fond du Lac American Legion Post 156. Recently, he was honored for 70
continuous years in the American Legion, many of those years as post commander.
During a leave of service, Cliff met the love of his life,
Joyce Beaster, at Skateland Roller rink in North Fond du Lac. He knew immediately,
“That’s the one for me.” They married May 15, 1948, and spent 60 years together
before Joyce passed away in 2008. During their marriage, they welcomed four
children, Greg, Gary, Barbara, and Beverly at their home in North Fond du Lac.
Cliff worked for many years at Giddings & Lewis as a
milling machine operator, retiring in 1988. During a labor strike in the
1970’s, Cliff made extra cash working as a tractor model for John Deere. In
1996, during a trip to the Packers’ NFC Championship game in Dallas, he
suffered a heart attack and enjoyed a special visit from Coach Mike Holmgren in
the hospital room, an event that made statewide television news.
Cliff remained sharp into his 90s – helping to count money at
church, reading the newspaper, working daily crossword puzzles, and telling
tall tales of an infamous character named “Big Al.” He was a longtime member of
the Eagles Club. But most days, Cliff lived a simple life and watched the world
go by from his front porch at the North Fond du Lac house he enjoyed for 57
years. Every evening at dusk, he would step outside the front door and retrieve
his American flag for the night.
Cliff is preceded in death by his wife; his parents; his
brother Don and his wife Sis; his brother Eugene; his sister Carol and her
husbands Marvin “Sonny” Streeter and Marvin DeNell; his sister Joyce; his
brothers-in-law: Oscar and his wife Nina Beaster; Ervin and his wife Virgil
Beaster; Earl and his wife Violet Beaster; Lindor Beaster; Melvin Beaster and
his wife Hazel; and two sisters-in-law: Della Wischnefski and her husband
Herbert; and Alma Woodruff and her husband Clark.
Cliff is survived by his four children: Gregory Becker
(Barbara), Gary Becker (Julie), Barbara Miller, and Beverly Putz (Richard); 11
grandchildren: Emily Thompson (Benjamin), Nathan Becker (Nicole), Aaron Becker
(Amanda), MacGarret Becker (Leslie), Robert Miller, Steven Miller, Tyler
Miller, Callie Ann Miller, David Putz (Courtney), Anna Gilgenbach (Chip), and
Kara Raddant (Nicholas); 11 great-grandchildren (with another on the way any
day): George Thompson, Jack and Max Becker, Dale Becker, Macy, Cora, and Edie
Becker, Drennan and Hadley Putz, Natalie Bartelt, and Milena Gilgenbach; one
brother, Kenneth “Butch” Becker and his wife, Ellie; a sister-in-law,
Mae Becker; a sister-in-law, Margaret Beaster; and nieces, nephews, cousins and
A funeral service will be held at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran
Church, 1010 Adams Avenue, North Fond du Lac on Friday, June 9, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.
The family will welcome visitors in the church at 11:00 a.m. until the time of
service. Burial will follow in
Estabrooks Cemetery. The Trier Puddy American Legion Post #75 will conduct
Military Graveside Services.
The family would like to thank the staff at St. Agnes
Hospital, The Woodlands Senior Living Center, and Agnesian Hospice for the
wonderful care given to Cliff in his final months.
Memorials may be given to the North Fond du Lac Veterans
Memorial, or St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church.
Kurki-Mach Funeral Chapel & Crematory is serving the