Cover photo for Henry Becker's Obituary
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1935 Henry 2013

Henry Becker

October 2, 1935 — October 30, 2013

Henry L. Becker, 77, of Davenport died Oct. 30, 2013, at home under the care of Beacon of Hope Hospice. Visitation is 4-7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, Davenport. A celebration of life service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at the church. Per Henry's wishes, rites of cremation will be performed. Memorials may be made to the Davenport Schools Foundation, in memory of Henry Becker, which funds scholarships and other educational programs. Henry was born Oct. 2, 1936, in Rifle, Colo., to Phillip and Lydia (Schneider) Becker, who were both German immigrants to the United States at young ages. Henry married Vivian Swartz in 1961. He received his B.A. in education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1958. After being awarded a national science foundation grant, he earned his M.S. degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1964. He first taught math and science in Prescott and Sergeant Bluff, Iowa. He started teaching chemistry in 1964 at Davenport Central High School. He later taught at West and North High Schools, where he retired as science department chair after 38 years in education. Henry served as president of the Davenport Education Association, attended ISEA state meetings, and was a lifelong member of NEA. The Davenport Jaycees gave him the Outstanding Young Educator Award in 1968. In 1972, he was honored by the Iowa Academy of Science with the Outstanding Chemistry Teacher Award. He also taught chemistry at Palmer College of Chiropractic and Scott Community College. He worked for Homework Hotline and the College for Kids programs. He served as treasurer for the Davenport Area Retired School Personnel Association and as treasurer for many years at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, where he was a very active member. Henry enjoyed woodworking, photography, nature, gardening and giving hugs to family and friends. The family took camping trips throughout the U.S. and Canada. Henry and Vivian visited several European countries in later years. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Vivian Becker; daughter, Shari Becker; son, Scott (Jodi) Becker, and grandson, Ethan Becker, who affectionately called him Papa, all from Davenport. He is also survived by brother, John Becker of Evans, Colo., brother, Dave Becker of Scottsbluff, Neb.; sister, Kathy (Dan) Colgrove of Pahrump, Nev.; and many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Phillip and Lydia Becker; brother, Richard Becker; sister, Marie Hinshaw, sister, Betty Hergenrader, and brother, George Becker.
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