Renee Salome Becker
MIDDLETON-Mrs. Renee Salome Becker, age 90, formerly of Middleton died on September 24, 2012 at the Waunakee Manor. Renee was born on December 20, 1921, in Madison, the youngest daughter of Otto William Schantz and Sylva Meyers Schantz. Renee was the granddaughter of Henry Meyers, the respected Madison Alderman of the 9th Ward (Democrat). Renee grew up on Center Avenue attending Lapham Elementary and Madison East High School. As a student, Renee worked in the school library and the Madison Public Library. Renee attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1942 and, in 1948, a Bachelor of Library Science degree.
Renee followed her sweetheart, LaVergne Becker to Washington D.C. in 1942 where she worked as a librarian at the Library of Congress. While at the Library of Congress, she was responsible for purchasing, documenting and filing rare books and documents. In 1943, Renee married LaVergne Addison Becker of Middleton at Pohick Church in Lorton, VA. Upon returning to Madison in 1944, Renee worked part time at the Memorial (University) Library and then full time at the UW Law Library, retiring After 29 years of service. Renee was a lifelong advocate of protecting and enjoying nature. An avid ” outdoors-person”, Renee particularly loved fishing with her husband Vern at their Lake House on Mendota’s north shore. She also delighted in picnicking, hiking and fishing with family and friends at Wisconsin State and County Parks and especially loved taking the Merrimac Ferry to Devil’s Lake State Park. While her professional endeavors are impressive, her greatest gift and legacy was her kind, gentle demeanor. Renee was the “world’s best listener”. Regardless of the topic, Renee demonstrated how to participate in dialogue in a peaceful and engaging manner. In conversation she gave completely of herself-her undivided attention, tender manner, sparkle in her eyes and soft smile ensured her listeners they felt special and valued. It was a treat to receive a letter or card in the mail from Renee. The care and consideration in her clean, artistic penmanship and calligraphy enhances her lyrical, loving message.
Renee will be greatly missed, but her love, energetic spirit and template for kindheartedness will be with us forever. Renee was preceded in death by her parents, Otto and Sylva Schantz, her sister, Jane Schantz, her husband LaVergne (Vern), step sisters Laverne and Marie “Mickey” (Schantz) Schieder and step brother Orville Schantz. She was a loyal friend and loving Aunt to many nephews and nieces of the extended Becker, Emden, Roller and Thomas families.
Funeral services will be held at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton at 11:30 AM on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Burial will be in Evergreen Hill Cemetery, Middleton. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at the funeral home. The family would like to extend its gratitude and thanks to the staff at the Waunakee Manor and Retirement Center who befriended Renee and provided her care with dignity, love and respect. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Waunakee Manor Activity Fund.
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