Madison – Byron F. “By” Becker, age 96, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, April 15, 2013, following a brief illness. He was born on January 26, 1917 in Pardeeville, WI, the son of William and Minnie (Wing) Becker. Byron learned the meaning of hard work growing up on the family farm. Alongside his dad, he and his brothers milked cows by hand, grew vegetables and sold firewood, all done the old fashioned way, using horses and a homemade tractor. At the age of 18, he left home and earned a degree in accounting at Madison Business College.

Byron was drafted into the Army on January 20, 1942, where he earned the rank of First Lieutenant. He was in command of an ambulance platoon of about 40 men and 10 ambulances, evacuating all sick and wounded from the 1st Infantry Regiment. Byron was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement, in connection with military operations against the enemy in the South Pacific Islands.

Byron married the love of his life, Margaret “Kay” McCarthy, on September 30, 1943. They were blessed with seven children and 62 years of marriage.

Byron dedicated 44 years at Oscar Mayer in the position of Executive Manager of Canned Foods and Raw Materials. After his retirement, he began his own tax service, catering to the elderly and homebound for 31 years. He always went above and beyond helping his clients.

Byron was a founding member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church and spent a term as president of the Serra Club. He also loved gardening, reading, chess, watching his favorite sports teams and was always up on current events.

He is survived by his children: John (Elizabeth) Becker, Joanne (Craig) Yapp, Tim Becker, Sara (Bill) Marks, Kathy (Steve) Foley and Tom Becker; 13 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and special friend of the family, Bill Mabis.

Byron was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Kay; his parents; his daughter, Mary Becker; brothers, Royce and Clayton Becker and sister, Margie Wilke.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 19, 2013 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 5001 N. Sherman Ave., with Fr. Roger Nilles officiating. Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass on Friday at the church. Burial will follow at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Cemetery, Westport.

Special thanks to the staff at Waunakee Manor for their loving care of Dad.

“The highest love of all finds its fulfillment not in what it keeps, but in what it gives.”