Clarence A. Becker
May 13, 1925 – Feb. 2, 2018
Clarence Augustine Becker, 92, formerly of Maple Hollow Road, Duncansville, slept peacefully into the arms of God Friday at Van Zandt VA Medical Center.
He was born in St. Boniface, Cambria County, the eldest son of the late Charles and Cecilia (Kruise) Becker. On Jan. 17, 1948, he married Eileen R. Steel at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona.
Surviving are two sons: Charles T. Becker and wife, Carolyn, of Altoona and Msgr. Michael A. Becker of Altoona; two daughters: Mary Kay Parrish and husband, Ted, of Duncansville, and Peggy Freyvogel and husband, Peter, of Monroeville; 11 grandchildren: Julie Dodson (Tyke), Keith Becker, Sara Parrish, Todd Parrish (Julie), Joy Davis (Nick), Carl Parrish (Brianna), Cindy Freyvogel, Erin Ramirez (Gabe), Michael Freyvogel (Bess), Mary Ramirez (Philip) and Elizabeth Freyvogel; 14 great-grandchildren; and two brothers: Walter of Dysart and Ralph (Irene) of New Germany.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Eileen; two sisters: Mary and Hilda; two brothers: William and Paul; a foster child, Sandy Kowalczyk; and two great-grandchildren: Gabrielle Angelie Ramirez and Andrew Gabriel Parrish.
After graduating from Patton High School, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps on Aug. 1, 1943. Following training in basic and advanced radio school, he was deployed to India as a radio/navigator on C-46 Commando. During his tour, he flew 59 missions over “The Hump,” the Himalaya Mountains, between India and China. For his service in the China-Burma-India theater of operations, he was awarded the Air Medal with an oak leaf cluster. In September 1945, he was injured and hospitalized in-country until November 1945. He returned to the United States and was honorably discharged in February 1946.
Following his military service, of which he was especially proud, he was employed until his 1983 retirement by the United States Post Office. He was an active member of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association. He also owned and operated a painting and decorating business. Following retirement, he remained active as a school bus driver, a funeral home attendant, and until 2007, a member of the tipstaff at the Blair County Courthouse.
Clarence and Eileen were founding members of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Duncansville, where he served on the parish council and in various liturgical ministries. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, Star of the Sea Council, serving as treasurer for well over 25 years. He also enjoyed singing as a lifetime member with the Altoona Horseshoe Chorus. He and Eileen were board members for the Mattern House, a residence for mentally disabled adults, and were active members of the Serra Club of Altoona. His other church-related activities included prison ministry and an active involvement with Cursillo.
He loved painting, carpentry, gardening and hunting. He was especially proud of the “Cottage,” a summer home he built, where he enjoyed the company of family and friends, especially his great-grandchildren. He and Eileen also enjoyed traveling.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at Liebegott-Brown Funeral Home Inc., 1218 Fourth Ave., Duncansville, where a vigil for the deceased will be held. Friends will also be received at St. Catherine of Siena Church at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, prior to the 11 a.m. funeral Mass, to be concelebrated by Msgr. Michael A. Becker and visiting clergy. Committal with military honors will be performed by the Blair County Veterans Honor Guard at Calvary Cemetery, Altoona.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Catherine of Siena Parish, P.O. Box 88, Duncansville, PA, 16635.