Obit: Becker, Clarence E. "Curly" (1917 - 2009)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Becker, Lecher, Schmidt, Schenk, McManus, Gurney, Schoengarth, Noehring, Schnabel, Kraus, Pace

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) January 28, 2009

Becker, Clarence E. "Curly" (14 October 1917 - 11 January 2009) With Flag

Clarence E. "Curly" Becker, 91, Town of Grant, Clark County, passed away peacefully Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009, at his residence surrounded by his living family and under the tender care of the Ministry Home Care Hospice.

Curly was born Oct. 14, 1917, in Marshfield to Henry and Magaret (Lecher) Becker. He attended St. John’s Parochial School in Marshfield until the sixth grade followed by seventh and eighth grades at Happy Hollow School in rural Neillsville.

Clarence joined the Conservation Corps (CCC) at Camp Nelson in April of 1938 until June 1941. In that same year, he married the former Rosalie Schmidt Oct. 18 in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Neillsville.

In December 1942 Clarence was drafted into the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 853rd Engineer Battalion, working as an automotive mechanic. During his service to his country, Clarence was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and the meritorious Service Unit Award, and because of his brothers in arms, he survived the sinking of the Rohna, for which he received the Army Purple Heart.

After his honorable discharge from the Army Oct. 31, 1945 Curly returned to Neillsville and worked as a mechanic at various automotive shops in the area. At one time curly owned and operated his own filling station in Neillsville called Becker Cities Service. He did other jobs including road work for Mathy Road Construction and again as a mechanic for Cenex Co. in Neillsville.

After retiring, Curly was engaged in selling Christmas trees for his daughter Diane and her husband for many years because of his special love for Douglas, WY, and became involved with St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery as a caretaker and sexton for a number of years.

Clarence was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the American Legion Post #73 of Neillsville.

In his spare time Curly enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing cribbage and reading books, especially westerns and National Geographic. His favorite music was the old country western songs. He loved spending time with his grandkids and great-grandkids and harvesting and cracking black walnuts. Curly was very proud of his yard and garden and his children can attest to the fact they had to be kept "just so".

Clarence is lovingly survived by his wife Rosalie of 67 years; his children, Beverly (Walter) Schenk of Avon Park, FL, Carol (the late Kevin) McManus of Lombard, IL, Don (Lorna) Becker of Greenfield, Dianne (Lewis) Gurney of Neillsville; Lynette (Mark) Schoengarth of Neillsville, Mary Kay (Michael) Noehring of Lakeville, MN, and Scott Becker of Neillsville. He is further survived by 17 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and a sister, Arlene Schnabel of Neillsville. He will be sadly missed by his longtime companion, his cat Kitsey.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, John and Harold; a sister, Nora Kraus; and a sister, Virginia, in infancy.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Neillsville. The Rev. Woodrow H. Pace officiated. Burial followed in the church cemetery with military rites conducted by the American Legion Post #73 of Neillsville. His sons-in-law served as his pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given in Curly’s name to the family for a charity to be determined at a later date.

The Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home of Abbotsford assisted Clarence’s family with all arrangements.



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