Willard Becker, 98, of Sheboygan, Wis. and formerly of Freeman, S.D., passed away on Feb. 14. A funeral service will be held Saturday, Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. at the Salem-Zion Mennonite Church of rural Freeman. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at the church.
Willard Becker, 98, of Sheboygan, Wis. and formerly of Freeman, S.D., entered eternal life on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, at Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.
Willard was born on April 10, 1920, near Marion, S.D., to Daniel A. and Anna (Tieszen) Becker. He attended Rosefield Township School No. 67. Willard was baptized on Aug. 6, 1939 and was received into membership of the Bethesda Mennonite Church.
In 1942 Willard was drafted and because he was a conscientious objector served in Civilian Public Service for 3 ½ years. During his time of service in Fort Collins, Colo. and Terry, Mont., he worked on the Greeley Dam and Poudre River irrigation system, built fences, drilled wells, and fought forest fires. He then returned home to run the family farm with his older brother Herbert and help his widowed mother care for his five younger sisters.
On Nov. 10, 1963, Willard married Bertha K. Pollman. They made their home on his family farm until his retirement from farming in the early 1980s. Both Willard and Bertha became members of Salem-Zion Mennonite Church in Freeman. Willard loved the Lord and often expressed his faith through the writing of short devotionals. In retirement, Willard served as a janitor at both Freeman Academy and at his church, drove tractor for local farmers, fixed small gas engines and created unique items in his shop.
In 2011 Willard and Bertha moved to Sheboygan, Wis. to be near their family. There they attended the Sheboygan Evangelical Free Church. Willard will be remembered as a loving brother, husband, father and grandfather.
Willard is survived by his son, Dean (Amy) Becker of Sheboygan; two grandsons: Paul (Cassie) Becker and Daniel Becker; a great-grandson, Nathaniel Becker; and two sisters: Eva Goosen and Lily (Carl) Schroeder.
Willard was preceded in death by his loving wife, Bertha Becker; parents Daniel A. and Anna T. Becker; brother, Herbert Becker; three sisters: Amelia (Robert) Epp, Emma (Lester) Schroeder and Anna May (Velmar) Rudiger.
Two funeral services to celebrate Willard's life will be held.
A service will be held in Wisconsin at the Sheboygan Evangelical Free Church on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m., with Dr. Gary Hylander officiating. A visitation will take place from 4:30 p.m. until the time of service.
A service will also be held in South Dakota at the Salem-Zion Mennonite Church of Freeman on Feb. 23 at 11 a.m., with Pastor Corey Miller officiating. A visitation will take place from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will take place at Neu Hutterthal Church Cemetery near Bridgewater, S.D.
Memorials may be given in his name for the Master Plan work at the Evangelical Free Church in Sheboygan.