November 25, 2017 at 2:00pm

Gary E. Becker Memorial for Gary Becker ’67

Gary Earl Becker, 72, of Belleair Bluffs, Fla., passed away Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, at the Morton Plant Rehabilitation Center, Clearwater, Fla. He moved to Pinellas County from his native Illinois in 1974. He was born in Belleville, Ill., and lived in New Athens. His family owned the HiWay Lumber Company in New Athens. Gary participated in baseball, basketball and track in high school. After graduation he attended Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., graduating with a degree in psychology.

He was a school psychologist in Illinois for five years before moving to Florida where he obtained his Masters Degree and began working in Pinellas County Schools. He retired in 2005 after 36 years of public school service. He was also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and maintained a small private practice before he retired.

He was a devoted father to his sons and throughout the years frequently spent nights and weekends on every ball field possible. More recently, he enjoyed watching his grandchildren as they, too, became involved in athletics including baseball, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, softball, football, golf and gymnastics.

As a young man he enjoyed distance running and participated in several marathons as well as numerous 5k and 10k races. He enjoyed the outdoors, hiking and camping with his family and friends. After retiring, he traveled across the country with his wife, Carolyn, exploring the parks and forests of the United States.

Gary was well known for his knowledge of and love for the automobile. He always kept up with new car models and would offer advice and even assistance to anyone considering buying a car.

Gary touched many lives throughout his career and can rest knowing he changed lives for the better. His wisdom and joy lives on in those he leaves behind. He is missed by all who knew and loved him.

He was preceded in death by his father, Earl Becker.

Surviving are his wife, Carolyn; mother, Ruth Becker of New Athens, Ill.; sons, Ryan (Kindrea) Becker of Alpharetta, Ga., and Jeff Becker of Palm Harbor, Fla.; sister, Sondra (Jim) Meyer of New Athens, Ill.; and three grandchildren, Caleb, Maddie and Alex.

Memorial donations may be made to The Special Operations Warrior Foundation or to the charity of the donor's choice.

Guests may sign the Guestbook at

Services: A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017.

Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Dec. 3, 2017.

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