Lawrence B. Becker, 89, of Overland Park, KS, formerly of Greeley, CO, and Ripon, WI, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, March 26, 2021. He was born, August 13, 1931, on the family farm 8 miles south of Avon, SD to Ben & Rose Becker.
Larry grew up in a strong Christian home. He attended grade school in a rural country school and later graduated from Avon High School in 1949. He obtained a teaching certificate and taught for one year in a nearby one-room schoolhouse, after which he expressed a desire to teach high school. In 1956, Larry graduated from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, after which he taught 9 years at Lead High School in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. In 1963, he married Frances Forbes, a young nurse he met on a blind date while at Wheaton College. Two years later, they moved to Ripon, WI where Larry taught vocal music at Ripon High School. Shortly after moving to Ripon, Larry took a “temporary” position as the senior choir director at Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ in Ripon, a position he would hold for 27 years. During this time, Larry earned his MA in Music from the University of Missouri at Kirksville. In 1974, Larry obtained a position working for the State of Wisconsin in the prison system, where he worked until his retirement in 1993.
Following retirement, Larry & Fran spent 13 winters in Arizona. While in Arizona, Larry directed the snowbird choir at their church and went 4-wheeling with his brother-in-law. In 1996, Larry & Fran moved to Greeley, Colorado, where they enjoyed retirement until moving to Overland Park, Kansas, in early 2017, to be closer to their son Jon. Larry enjoyed playing cards, Dominos and various board games. He and Fran experienced a wide circle of friends, frequently hosting them in their home.
Music played a very important part in Larry’s life, from the classical LPs playing on the hi fi to the music he played on his baby grand piano. In later years Larry purchased a Bose Wave Radio to play his growing collection of classical and sacred CDs. Larry’s love for music took him to Europe several times, first with the Ripon College Choral Union, and then several more times leading his church choir on various concert tours throughout Europe, and once behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany. While in Greeley, Larry sang with the Greeley Chorale and traveled to Italy with the Chorale in 2005.
Larry and Fran were active members of the Ripon Baptist Church and Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Ripon, WI, and later Cornerstone Community Church in Greeley, CO. After his Savior, Larry’s greatest love was for his wife of 57 years, Fran. One often could not tell where the one ended and the other began. “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:7-8. Despite many years of suffering through declining health, their mutual love for God and for one another carried them through.
Larry was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years Frances Ann, his parents Ben & Rose Becker, and brothers Jonathan, David, and Arthur. He is survived by sons, Jeff (Rebecca) Becker of Lexington, SC; Jon (Mary) Becker of Olathe, KS; 4 beloved grandchildren: JJ Becker of Ogden, UT, Anna (Adam) Pollitt of Olathe, KS; Ella Rose and Ava Joy Becker of Lexington, SC; two great-grandchildren: Owen and Charlotte Pollitt of Olathe, KS; one brother, Norman (Pat) Becker of Sibley, IA; and numerous nieces and nephews.