Oct. 14, 1915 - Sep. 9, 2014
Howard Hancox Becker of Venice, Florida, formerly of West Hartford, CT, died peacefully in his sleep on September 9, 2014, at the age of 98 at Pinebrook Center, Venice, Florida. He was born October 14, 1915 to Henry Wilhelm and Sadie Eliza Victoria Hancox Becker in The Bronx, NY. He spent his youth in Yonkers, NY until he went to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He graduated form Bates in 1938, cum laude with honors. While at Bates he was on the Debate Team and managed the team, managed the marching band, was president of the Publishing Association, and a member of the Politics Club.
In 1940 he married Kathryn Thomas, whom he had met at Bates. She died in August 1989.
After graduation he worked two years at GE and then at Liberty Mutual as a claims adjuster for 7 years. He then began work for LIMRA (Life Insurance and Marketing Research Association) in Hartford, CT, where he stayed until he retired after 33 years having worked his way up to Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer. He had several consultant jobs after his retirement.
A charter member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Hartford, CT, he served as a deacon, trustee, and 5 terms as an elder, including 3 times as Clerk of Session. He also sand in the choir and chaired several building committees. Active in the community as well, he worked with the Boy Scouts, was active in the Jaycees, and served 15 years on the Hot Squad of the Red Cross.
In the fall of 1994 he moved to Venice, Florida. He married Nancy Heinze in March 1998. In Venice he continued his church involvement at Venice Presbyterian Church. He was President of the Men's Fellowship for 4 years and served as an Elder. During his term of three years he was chair for the Personnel Committee and helped persuade Kim Curran to join the staff as Chief Operating Officer. He also ran the annual golf tournament for several years.
Howard had lots of hobbies, but perhaps the most ambitious was the Railroad Garden he built in his backyard after seeing and being intrigued by one in Maine when he was 90. The railroad winds among houses, a church, flowers, over a pond and through a tunnel. He enjoyed demonstrating it to his family and friends. His wife Nancy has vowed to keep it maintained and running.
Howard was predeceased by his mother and father, his brother, Richard, and his first wife Kathryn. He is survived by his wife Nancy and her 3 sisters, Jean Samson, Barbara Battye and M. Carolyn Robinson and their children, his daughter Ann and her husband Bruce Wiersma, and grandchildren Heather (and Richard) Charity, Jennifer (and Norman) Madore, Joshua (and Jonida Basha) Wiersma and Robin Wiersma and great-grandchildren Raiden, Ayla, and Bowen Charity, Savannah Madore, and Alba Wiersma; also Howard's daughter Carol and husband David Olson and grandchildren Stephanie Olson, Peter Olson, and Brian (Maria) Olson.
A memorial service for Howard will be held at Venice Presbyterian Church, on the island at 825 The Rialto, on Tuesday, September 16 at 11:00 AM, interment at 10:30 AM in the church's Memorial Garden. He will be sorely missed by his family and all who were proud to call him 'FRIEND.'
Donations may be made in Howard's memory to Venice Presbyterian Church.
Farley Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. To share a memory of Howard visit www.farleyfuneralhome.com
Published by Herald Tribune from Sep. 14 to Sep. 15, 2014.