John Joseph “Jack” Becker, 86, passed away peacefully on Monday July 25th, 2016 at the Cottages of Cedar Run in West Bend, WI.
He was born on September 2, 1929, in Chicago Illinois to the late Patrick Earl and Mary Kathryn (nee Twohig) Becker, and grew up in the Chicago area.
He attended Campion Jesuit high school, and St. Thomas University in St. Paul MN. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend Indiana in 1951, where he played hockey, golf, and received a degree in Business Administration.
On February 11, 1956, he married Dona Clare Schlacks at St. Edmunds Catholic Church in Oak Park, Ill. Together they raised seven children and were proud grandparents to 15 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
In the early years, he made his home in Naperville, Ill., where he became active in the Catholic parish, St. Raphael. He taught C.C.D., coached Pee Wee football, and served on numerous committees, including the parish counsel.
He worked in Chicago as vice president of McGuire Equipment company, and managed the Midwest Region Chandler Division of Pepsico Leasing Corporation, before making the move to West Bend to work for the B.C. Ziegler company.
He joined Ziegler in 1971 as vice president of Leasing, and was elected senior vice president in 1975. He was named Director of Ziegler Leasing, a subsidiary of Ziegler Co, Inc., in 1976 and was elected president later that year. He had a successful career until his retirement, and was a member of the American Association of Equipment Lessors AAEL.
He was an active member of the community, even after retirement, serving to help causes dear to him such as furthering education for post-polio, and working with the American Heart Association in Washington Co. He was a long time member of the Rotary Club.
One of the great benefits of moving to Wisconsin, was the ability for him to pursue his passion for golf, amongst the beauty of the Kettle Moraine, at the WBCC. As an involved member and past president, he helped make lasting improvements to the course and facilities, and enjoyed working with the Evans Scholarship program. The club provided a great source of enjoyment for him, as he golfed into his 80’s.
His hobbies included art and music, as he developed his talents at an early age. He enjoyed sketching, and produced many pen and ink drawings, and could light up a room playing the piano.
He appreciated the theatre, and did Summer Stock in Wheeling Ill., as a young man. Locally, he appeared in the Musical Masquer’s productions of “South Pacific” and “The Sunshine Boys”, an experience he enjoyed immensely.
Later in life, in 2005, he married Nancy Koehler. They enjoyed an active social life, including golf and travel, a highlight of which was a trip to Ireland.
John is survived by his wife Nancy (nee Merriam) Koehler, his six children: Mary ( Lou) Conte, Judith Wagner, Sharon (Alan) Bell, Virginia (Greg) Starr, John (Jane) Becker, and Amy (Ken) Kohls; his grandchildren: Jacqlyn Conte, Jenna Conte, Katie ( Kyle) O’Rourke, Michael Wagner, Patrick (Cammie) Bell, Nicholas (Katie) Bell, Christopher Bell, Perry Bell, April (Bill) Otten, Ryan Starr, Eric Starr, Austin Becker, Taylor Becker, Bobby Kohls, Connor Kohls; his great grandchildren: Dominic Bell, Xander Bell; his sister Rosemarie (the late Thomas) Sullivan, his brother Patrick (Betty Jo) Becker, sister in law Rowena ( the late Richard) Hohman, H.Paul (Nancy) and Bob (the late Colleen) Schlacks.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Dona Clare Becker, son Daniel Jude Becker, brother Geary (Terry) Becker, brother in law Daniel (the late Carol) Schlacks, and brother in law Bill (Susan) Schlacks.
A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate John’s life will be held on Monday August 1, 2016, at St. Francis Cabrini Church, West Bend, WI., at 2 p.m. The family will greet relatives and friends preceding the service at the church, from 11-1:45 p.m. A private interment will be held the following morning at Washington County Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions in memory of John can be sent to: Alzheimer’s Association, 620 S. 76th St. Suite 160, Milwaukee, WI 53214, and Evans Scholars Foundation, One Briar Road, Golf, IL 60029-0301.
The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend in serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at www.schmidtfuneralhome.com