Dolores Joanna Becker, having lived a full and blessed life, died peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones, on May 1, 2022 at the age of 101. She was born in Appleton at the home of her parents, Michael Peter and Clara (Stein) Jacobs, on April 5th, 1921. Dolores spent her early years in Appleton, and as an adult made her home in various cities across the country, returning to the familiarity of the Fox Valley having lived the last 20 years of her life in Appleton. She treasured her secondary education at St. Mary’s Springs Academy in Fond du Lac where she graduated in 1938 at the age of 17. With a keen intellect and enthusiasm for the world around her, she never stopped learning. She traveled extensively both at home and abroad meeting people and making life-long friends everywhere she went.
With a huge and generous heart, she was always available to help everywhere she saw a need. This prompted her and a dear friend in Santa Barbara to establish the Villa Majella Auxiliary serving pregnant women who would otherwise have nowhere to turn for assistance; and with her husband Lyle, she created the Calianna Foundation to provide aid to those less fortunate in the world. Along with these charities, she supported the arts, having taken much pleasure in theatre, music, and dance throughout her life.
Dolores took pride in the jobs she held after high school, the first of which was in 1938 as a Census Taker, followed by a secretarial position for architect, Ray Livie, who designed the Outagamie County Court House, and then for the Draft Board during World War 11, a heartbreaking job because she was sending young men to fight.
As an adolescent, with an early interest in performing, she read poetry on Saturday mornings on the radio station broadcasting from the Zuehlke Building. Given her love of music, she learned to play trumpet in her high school band, which prepared her as a young adult for her position in the Appleton Symphony Orchestra. Her passion for movies landed her a place on The Committee for the Legion of Decency. She was an avid reader, Scrabble wiz, crossword puzzle enthusiast, and inspired writer with a quick wit and contagious sense of humor. Highly skilled at a variety of needlecraft. Other interests included bridge, yoga, Tai Chi, golf and her bowling league.
Dolores was thrilled to have met her lifetime soulmate, Lyle Michael Becker of Brillion, at a Catholic Youth Organization dance at Waverly Beach. On the committee for a formal dance at Ridgeview Country Club, she invited him for their first date by selling him a ticket to the dance. They were devoted to each other for 70 years of marriage. Lyle passed away in December, 2014. A couple with a lifetime devotion to the Catholic faith and spiritual commitment, they were members of Saint Barbara Parish, Mission Santa Barbara, CA, Charter members of Saint Bernard Parish in Appleton, and a member of the Cursillo Movement in the Green Bay Diocese. One of her most inspirational experiences was a private meeting with Mother Teresa in New York City in 1976.
She will be deeply missed by her loving family, four living sons: James (Mary) Becker, Santa Fe, NM; Paul Becker, Neenah, WI; Peter Becker, St. Petersburg, FL; and Jonathan Becker, Neenah, WI: three daughters: Kristine Becker, Kimberly, WI; Susan (Douglas) Svetnicka, Santa Fe, NM; Patrice Becker, Basalt, CO. Dolores was devoted to her twelve grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Dolores is preceded in death by her husband, by eldest son, Michael Peter Becker, and infant son, John Joseph Becker, her parents Michael and Clara Jacobs, four brothers and one sister.
A private Mass of Resurrection will be held at St. Bernard Catholic Church, with Father Paul Demuth officiating, followed by internment at Holy Family Cemetery, Brillion. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of Moments Hospice for their love, care, and concern. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to villamajella.org.
A Live Stream of the Mass can be viewed by clicking on this link: https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/9411821976
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