Becroft, Stephen J.
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Stephen John Becroft of Douglas Lane, Ridgefield, CT died on Sunday, August 17, 2014 at his home. Death was caused by complications of advanced cancer.
Born July 19, 1942 in Dunedin, New Zealand, the son of the late Colin K. and Alison (Brown) Becroft, Stephen grew up in New Zealand and Australia before moving to the United States with his parents and three sisters in 1961.
Stephen graduated from North Sydney Boys' High School in 1960 and went on to study at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. He continued his studies at Yale University (Berkeley College), New Haven, CT graduating with a BA in Classics in 1964, MA in 1969, and he obtained his PhD in 1972.
Stephen taught classics at St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire from 1964-1966. From 1969-1976 he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Brooklyn College, New York. He changed careers in 1976, supporting himself by driving a New York City cab while attending classes to qualify as a computer programmer. He was subsequently employed by Equitable Life Assurance Society and by Philip Morris International, where he was a Regional Support Manager in data processing. Following early retirement from Philip Morris, he worked as a consultant on Year 2000 projects before joining Affinion in Trumbull, CT, where his focus was data security. He retired in 2007.
With a lifelong interest in pottery, Stephen spent his retirement years as a potter, founding his own studio, Lake Windwing Ceramics. He exhibited and sold his works at fairs and shows around the local area, and was a member, past president and treasurer of the Connecticut Clay Artists.
He was fond of all sports and particularly enjoyed playing golf as a member of the Salem Golf Club. He took pride in being one of the first to arrive in the morning in order to walk the course. He was also a keen musician, studying piano and singing in choirs, including the St. Stephen's Church choir. He developed an interest in composition, studying with Howard Rovics and joining the Connecticut Composers organization.
Encouraged by Connecticut Bishop James Curry, Stephen became interested in developing a relationship with the Diocese of Lebombo, Mozambique which he visited in 2008. He worked together with other members of St. Stephen's Church to raise funds in support of the work of the Diocese in rural areas of Mozambique, in particular the parish of Bom Samaritano.
Stephen is survived by his wife, Glenys Burton; his children, Michael, David, and Rosalind Becroft; daughter-in-law Kathryn Mayo; his sisters, Jennifer Hendrickson, Priscilla Becroft and Ilana Becroft; as well as nephews and nieces.
Arrangements are being handled by the Shaughnessy-Banks Funeral Home in Fairfield. A funeral service is to be held on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. directly at St. Stephen's Church, 351 Main Street in Ridgefield. Burial will follow at Wooster Cemetery in Danbury, after which family and friends will be received at the family home on Douglas Lane.
Contributions in Stephen's memory will be gladly accepted to benefit the work of Bom Samaritano parish in Mozambique. Checks may be made payable to St Stephen's Church, 351 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877 with the designation "Mozambique". To send an online condolence, please visit www.shaughnesseybanks.com.
Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home & Cremation Services - Fairfield
50 Reef Road
Fairfield, CT 06430
Published in News Times on Aug. 19, 2014