JOSEPH LEO BECKER JOSEPH LEO BECKER, died peacefully in his home on Monday, December 2, 2013 after a long, happy and well-lived life. He was 96. He was born in Boulder, CO in 1917 to Joseph C. and Minnie (Lauber) Becker, the oldest of seven children. He was awarded a scholarship and attended Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City, CO but was forced to quit in the 10th grade to work during the great depression. Joe learned about the clothing business working at Reinert's clothing in Boulder. In 1948 he moved to Espaï¿½ola, and opened Becker's clothing store which he ran successfully until 1978. After he retired from the clothing business, he became an expert in Native American art and operated Anasazi Indian Arts until his death. Joe enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served honorably during WWII in the Pacific Theater. He was 1st Aviation Radioman of VPB-71 a "Black Cat" bombing squadron which flew night search missions and joined in the invasion of Luzon at Lingayen Gulf, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1950, he married the love of his life, Isabel, "Belle" (Archuleta) Becker. He is survived by her and their children, Paulette Becker, Joanne Karlson and husband Ken, Joe Becker, Jr. and fiancï¿½ Rose DesGeorges, Isabel Becker-Hudson and husband Marc, and Ellen Becker-Jaffe and husband Brad; grandchildren, Jesse Davis, Emily (Karlson) Sanchez and husband Carlos, Luke Karlson, Ben Karlson and wife Emily, Katie (Karlson) Ramirez and husband Gilbert, Aubrey and Nicholas Hudson, Jared and Alex Jaffe and "Neen", Danielle and Carlos (DesGeorges) Vigil; great-grandchildren, Maddie and Xavier Sanchez, Penny and Isaac Ramirez and Bryce and Blake Karlson; special family friend, Cesar Rodriguez; brothers, Gene and Chuck (Patricia) Becker; sisters-in-law, Martha Archuleta and Norma Evans (Robert), many nieces and nephews and faithful dog, Lucy. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Sgt. John Becker (KIA, WWII), Robert Becker, Betty Smyer and Janie Brady. Joe believed in, and practiced kindness and generosity toward everyone. He was an active member of Holy Cross Church, sponsored the first Little League in Espaï¿½ola, was a founding director of Valley National Bank, was a supporter of the Espaï¿½ola Valley Rodeo and was the first Grand Knight of the Espaï¿½ola Valley Knights of Columbus. He was an avid fly-fisherman and spent many happy hours fishing with his son. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Holy Cross School or any charity. A rosary will be recited on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Caï¿½ada. Mass of Christian burial to be celebrated on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. also at La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Caï¿½ada. Reception following the Mass at Anthony's at the Delta in Espaï¿½ola. Burial to follow at 3:00 p.m. at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. The family wishes to thank Joe's many friends for their love and prayers during his final days. The family of Joseph Leo Becker has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espaï¿½ola Valley. 505-747-7477 - www.devargasfuneral.com
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DeVargas Funeral Home
623 N. Railroad Ave.
Espanola, NM 87532
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 1, 1900