G. Raymond (Ray) Becker
1931 - 2020
{ "" }
Share G.'s life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
G. Raymond (Ray) Becker
PEORIA - G. Raymond (Ray) Becker, 89, of Peoria, passed away Thursday, May 7th at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home surrounded by his loving family. He died of natural causes unrelated to COVID-19.
He was born February 12, 1931, in Peoria, IL to Florine (Martin) and William N. Becker Sr. Both preceded him in death as well as six brothers: Paul, Chuck, William Jr., John, James and Edmund Becker, one son Robert Becker and one stepdaughter Kim Genovese. Ray married Donna Butsch in 1950, she survives. Also surviving are his children Ron (Gene) of Hawi, HI, Cindy (Jan) Simpson, Nancy (Tim) Tobin, Diane (Tim) Driscoll, Ray Jr. (Stephanie), Lisa Becker and Julie (Roy) Sorce, all of Peoria; Ray was a loving grandfather to eight: Trevor Holmes, Ashley Parker, Meghan Higgs, Shay Obery, Alex Copeland, Trey Becker and Tony and Daniel Webber; nine great-grandchildren: Paxton, Greysn, Hudson, Shepard, Tatum, Blakley, Benjamin, Hunter and Hadley; one sister Joyce Cover of Peoria; and a loving uncle to many nieces and nephews.
He married Carmen Sabin in 2007, she survives. Also surviving are a son Jake Becker of Morton, a stepson Milan (Tammy) Boyanich and two stepgrandchildren, Jessie and Milan Jr. of Florida.
A prominent businessman in Peoria, Ray developed numerous companies and constructed many buildings helping to make the Peoria skyline what it is today.
Ray graduated from Woodruff High School in 1949, having already started his construction business, which by the mid 50's had grown into Becker Bros., Inc., a general construction company. Shortly thereafter he started Becker Lumber Company on Farmington Road. One of his earliest projects was building Holy Family School, Rectory and Convent. Ray was always admired for his diligence and ability to get things done in a timely manner.
For the next 40 years, he developed numerous nursing homes, junior colleges, hotels, apartments, condominiums and retail properties. In 1979 he opened Landmark Recreation Center with 50 lanes of bowling, 12 movie theatres and a Health Club.
Ray's biggest undertaking was the demolition of the entire block surrounding Main, Jefferson, Fulton and Madison. This would become Twin Towers Place, Twin Towers Plaza and the Becker Building, which he dedicated to his parents.
Over the years he has been principal benefactor to the Boys Club of Peoria, Youth Farm and EP!C (formerly PARC). Ray served on the Illinois Capital Development Board, Chairman of the Board of Eureka College, Bradley University Advisory Board, and Easter Seals. In 2019 he was awarded the Local Legends Award for the positive impact he made on this community.
Ray enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, sharing holidays, special meals or just reminiscing. But one of his greatest joys was spending time with his grandchildren/great-grandchildren who affectionately called him "Papa G.R. man with the Cigar."
Ray loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was a devout Catholic who attended daily mass. Ray gave all credit for his success to his God. He believed in seeking wisdom and direction through prayer.
A big man with a bigger heart- Ray always championed the underdog, the poor and under privileged, serving with kindness and generosity to those in need. Specifically Poor Clare Monastery and the Monastery Brothers of Saint John were closest to his heart. He believed not only in reaching out to help, but lifting others up to a better life.
A private Mass of Christian Burial and graveside service in St. Joseph Cemetery in West Peoria will be held.
Memorials in Ray's memory may be made to Fr. Ted's Kids Mission in Kenya, Ltd. c/o Casey Ladowski, 1200 Gleneagles Ct, Lake Geneva, WI 53147.
Friends and family may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences by logging onto www.wrightandsalmon.com.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Peoria Journal Star from May 7 to May 9, 2020.
Mass of Christian Burial
Graveside service
St. Joseph Cemetery
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Wright & Salmon Mortuary - Peoria
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
25 entries
May 14, 2020
Dear Becker family,
We hereby express our sincere condolences upon our learning of Ray's passing. I've often referred to him as my construction mentor while carrying out a career in which Ray was most instrumental in forming for my life. We will always remember his kind heart and being longtime neighbors and an employee. RIP GR

The Lord's Blessings be to All,

Cal and Kathe Reiling
Sarasota, Florida
May 12, 2020
I would like to express my sympathy and sincere condolences to the Becker family. I have known Ray since 1965 and worked as project manager and estimator for Becker Brothers Construction for 3 years. Ray trusted me with many projects in and around Peoria and we became good friends. Everyone that knew Ray will miss him. He was a real doer in all his projects.
William Bill Werckman (98)
Fort Myers FL
William Werckman
May 12, 2020

May 10, 2020
Sincere condolences to the Becker Family. I've known Ray for over 50 years. The first 30 years working on numerous Becker projects, and the last 20 as his neighbor in the East Tower. The entire 50 years has been one of respect and admiration.

Ray was a visionary with his work and developments, and a charitable man with a servant's heart to the needs of others.

I recall a humorous incident my brother Ducky once experienced with Ray. They were to meet with a perspective client and Ducky was wearing this really nasty old pair of worn out work boots. On the way, Ray stopped at a shoe store and bought Ducky a brand new pair of work boots. Ducky spoke of that often. Just a glimpse of little things Ray did among the big.

We'll miss Ray, but his legacy and memorable footprints will be around a long long time. Thanks for the memories and much more my friend.

May God bless the Becker family.

Kenny and Jody Baum
Kenny Baum
May 9, 2020
Prayers to the entire Becker clan. Condolences on the passing of a great man. My heart goes out to your family
Karen Gingher Hermann
May 9, 2020
To the entire Becker family:
Our prayers are with you.
Every time we ran into Ray at the Towers, it was a pleasure. When moving to the Towers 15 years ago, Ray said I would love it and he was right. Back when it was being built, I wondered who would want to live in Downtown Peoria! Ray had a keen vision for Peoria in many ways.
God bless.

Judge (ret.) Michael & Gretchen Brandt
Michael & Gretchen Brandt
May 9, 2020
Dear Nancy and Cindy

My deepest and sincere sympathy to you both in the loss of your father. May your faith and good memories sustain you at this difficult time.

Rosana Benson
Rosana Benson
May 8, 2020
Bud Pye & Ray Becker 1987 Bud's retirement party
Deepest sympathy to the Immediate family of Ray Becker and sympathy to all the construction workers of Ray Becker he is going to be missed lotsl.
Sandy Pye Smith
May 8, 2020
Deepest sympathy to the Whole Becker Family that is not only his immediate family but all his Construction worker family. He will be missed.
Sandy Pye Smith
May 8, 2020
My Dad Warner Pye (Bud) and Ray Becker in 1987 my dads retirement
Sandy Pye Smith
May 8, 2020
Trevor, Jamie, Paxton and Greysn,

We are very sad to read of Ray's passing. Diana remembers how kind he was to be on a telephone at the St. Jude Telethon a number of times. We were honored to be at your beautiful outdoor wedding at the Becker Building. We are awed at the great impact that Ray had on Peoria, IL and the area.

We hope your many happy memories will help you get through this most difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

With Deepest Sympathy,
Ed & Diana Johnson (Mt. Hawley CC)
Peoria, IL
Edward Johnson
May 8, 2020
So sorry to hear about Ray's passing. your family would remember us as Sue, Jackie, and Emily Purtscher. The best story that I know of Ray was during the Kickapoo Creek flood of 1973. Dad's Redi Mix Plant was flooding. Well Dad being Dad wouldn't leave until my brother Steve and him had moved as many concrete trucks as they could to higher ground. In the process. the water was so fast that it knocked over a telephone pole that hit one of Dad's legs. They then made it to the office roof to safety. They were safe, but no-one could get to them. Dad said that he looked up to see a helicopter coming down. Dad's exact words were, he looked in the copter to see Ray, with his big cigar in his mouth, he said " Jack you want a ride"? Thanks Ray, from the Purtschers. God bless.

Sue Johnson
May 8, 2020
I remember when it was passed around Landmark that Mr. Becker was in the building that we all tried to stand a little straighter and worked harder! I remember watching him bowl with a cigar in his mouth! I will remember when the Pro Bowlers Tour came to town how proud we were of his accomplishments at Landmark and around Peoria. We were always a little in awe of him. Condolences to the family, Ashley, Trevor, Julie, Lisa, may God give you comfort and peace.
Corrie Broberg
May 8, 2020
I'm sorry for your loss. I heard numerous stories from my dad, Jack Purtscher. Ray did so much for Peoria, I hope you can find comfort in knowing what an impact he had made. Emily Shurtz (Purtscher)
Emily Shurtz
May 8, 2020
I worked for G. Raymond Becker for over seven years. He would tease me a lot because my father's name was George H. Becker. Ray Becker would occasionally steer me from table to table in restaurants and introduce me as Mrs. Becker, just a silly light-hearted moment that I remember.
In all the years that I knew and worked with Mr. Becker, he was a generous, and kind person. I only came to learn later about the many contributions that Ray had given to my community, Peoria, Illinois, and others.
The world indeed is a darker place, because where G. Raymond Becker went the entire landscape changed into hope. My condolences to his family, may his sole rest in peace...You were a good man.
Geneva Becker
May 8, 2020
It was an honor to know Ray. The world is indeed a better place because of Ray and a sadder place indeed without him. He will always be remembered for the good he did for so many. Rest in peace good man.
Carole Halicki
May 8, 2020
We are thinking and praying for your family.
Amy and Kevin Cassulo
amy paul-cassulo
May 8, 2020
To the Becker family.. So, sorry to hear of Ray's passing...I saw Ray daily for over 30 years.. its hard to believe he wont be walking the streets ever again.Ray was a religious man and I know he's in heaven. He sure left a legacy behind with family, business and friends. I'll never forget after his dad died.. (Ray and my dad were very close..) he use to call my dad {POPS) dad rented his office from Ray. Ray would never take a dime for rent.. He said, "Joe, I can't take that from you.. it's like taking it from my dad..that was for over 30 years.. Say hi to my dad and RIP. just know you were well thought of and loved by many. especially your family
barb rafool patterson/joey rafool
May 8, 2020
I remember living a few house up from the Becker's on Westport! Great man! Fun times! I eventually worked at the Continental Regency Hotel so I would see Ray there as well. I'm so sorry Ray Ray, Lisa, Julie and their mom Donna and all the rest of the Becker's!Love to you all! Rest in Heaven Ray!!
Patsy Rennau-Greuter
May 8, 2020
Ray was an exceptional human being. He took the time with me to give me much needed advice when I started my business many years ago. I met Ray through his children at Holy Family Church. My condolances go to Cindy, Trevor, Ashley and all Ray's children. Bob Diveley.
Bob Diveley
May 8, 2020
Ray was giving man of great faith and strong family values. Our lives and our community are
enriched because of Ray's hope, encouragement, and benevolence.
Thomas A. Brubaker
Peoria, IL
May 8, 2020
I had the privilege of taking care of Ray at the OSF Richard L Owens Hospice Home. Ray has left behind a lot of memories to all who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Sheila Craig sister of Kay Davidson ❤
Sheila Craig
May 8, 2020
Prayers & Condolences for the entire Becker family.❤
Vicki Jackson
May 7, 2020
Approximately 60 years ago one winter, Ray drove a Becker Brothers dump truck around the streets of Idyllbrook subdivision towing 6-8 of us kids to enjoy sledding in the snow..He had a big heart.
Bob Beckman
May 7, 2020
Our condolences, Rest In Peace Ray.
Janet&Bob Walter
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences