Eileen Rita (Steel) Becker, 89, of 320 Maple Hollow Road, Duncansville, slept peacefully into the arms of God Thursday at Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidaysburg, after a courageous battle with cancer.
She was born in Altoona, daughter of the late Thomas and Catherine (Luddy) Steel. She married Clarence A. Becker on Jan. 17, 1948, at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.
Surviving are her loving husband of 65 years; two sons: Charles T. and wife, Carolyn, of Altoona and Monsignor Michael A. 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, Mary Freyvogel and Elizabeth Freyvogel; 11 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Virginia Lloyd of La Vale, Md.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Sister Mary Thomasine; a brother, Thomas and wife, Gil; a brother-in-law, Jack Lloyd; Sandy Kowalczyk, a foster child; and a great-granddaughter, Gabrielle Angelie Ramirez.
Eileen was a 1941 graduate of Altoona Catholic High School. For 12 years, she served as organist and choir director at St. Patrick Church in Newry, continuing in that capacity at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Duncansville upon its founding in 1963.
She co-founded and was executive director of the Ecumenical Conference of Greater Altoona for more than 40 years. She was a board member for The Arc of Blair County, a 56-year member of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and a board member for the Mattern House, a residence for mentally handicapped adults. She was an active member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and of the Serra Club of Altoona. She was awarded the Prince Gallitzin Cross by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in 1996.
Eileen loved reading, gardening and playing the piano for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She and her husband enjoyed the arts, traveling and spending time with their family and friends.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 14, 2013, at Liebegott-Brown Funeral Home Inc., 1218 Fourth Ave., Duncansville, where a vigil for the deceased will be held.
Friends will also be received from 9:30 until the 11 a.m. funeral Mass Monday, April 15, 2013, at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Monsignor Michael A. Becker and visiting clergy concelebrating. Committal will be at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Arc of Blair County, 431 Jackson Ave., Altoona, PA 16602, or the Ecumenical Conference of Greater Altoona, P.O. Box 292, Duncansville, PA 16635.