Henry T. Becker, 96, peacefully passed into eternal rest on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Rocky Hill Veterans Home.
Born in Hartford on Feb. 5, 1917, he moved to Manchester in 1940 after growing up in New York City. Henry married the love of his life, Marie, in 1941. After volunteering to serve during World War II
in the Army Air Corp, he returned from the war to Manchester to raise his family. He became a machinist at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, where he became involved in what became his passion: union organizing. Henry was hired as a staff representative of the machinists union and was later recruited by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America to become a union organizer. He spent much of his career organizing clothing plants all over the United States and Canada. He was always very pleased when a labor contract was reached that gave workers fair wages and benefits. He went on to become the labor staff representative for the United Way of the Capitol Area and was the founder of the United Labor Agency, from which he retired. Henry was very active in his retirement and became a real estate broker. He opened Golden Oaks Realty in Coventry and later opened a bookstore, Golden Acorns Books, also in Coventry. Henry was also involved in public service. He was a candidate for the first Manchester Board of Directors in 1947, and he served as chairman of the town Pension Board. He was elected as a State Representative from Manchester from 1966-67. Henry also spent a year working on a job training program for the Federal War on Poverty, Office of Economic Opportunity. He was a member and past president of the Manchester Lions Club, and, with his wife, Marie, was a founding member of the Church of Assumption. Henry had many interests and was a lifelong learner. He earned his bachelor's degree from Charter Oak College in the 1980s, after he retired. He was a writer and a poet, and loved to talk to people from all walks of life. He especially loved having conversations with people who would peruse the vast variety of used books he had for sale at his bookstore.
Henry was predeceased by his wife, Marie. He also leaves his sister, Agnes Sheehan of Enfield; his brother, Joseph Becker of Windsor Locks; his sister-in-law, Patricia Becker of East Hampton; his children, Therese Becker of San Jose, Calif., Elaine Kennedy of Norwich, Vt., and his son, Timothy Becker, and his wife, Carole, of Manchester. He also leaves his grandchildren, Andrew Lee, and his wife, Marianne, of Hayward, Calif., Stephen Becker, and his wife, Laura, of Manchester, and Maureen Becker of Boston; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Congregate Housing of the Manchester Housing Authority and the staff of Buckingham Estates for taking good care of Henry. The family would especially like to thank the kind and very caring staff of the "B Lower" unit of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Rocky Hill, where Henry spent his last years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at the Church of Assumption, 29 S. Adams St., in Manchester, at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 3, 2013.
Friends may call at John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 W. Center St., Manchester, on Thursday, May 2, 2013, from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Assumption School Scholarship Fund, 285 W. Center St., Manchester, CT 06040; or to the Manchester Lions Club, P.O. Box 614, Manchester, CT 06045.
For online condolences please visitwww.tierneyfuneralhome.com