Charles Gordon Becker
Charles Gordon Becker was born on August 7, 1933 at the Florence Nightingale Nursing Home in Banff, Alberta. He is the second son of Charles Maires Becker and Vera Ethel Tollington. Gordon’s parents meet while they were both teaching in Banff. The year following Gordon’s birth his family moved to Olds where his father, who had graduated from the U of A with a diploma in Pharmacy, purchased a drug store, The College Pharmacy.
The Becker family enjoyed many summer camping trips at Sylvan Lake, Pine Lake, Banff and Waterton. These trips in the late 30’s and early 40’s was arduous and took many long hours for you arrived, somewhat rumpled, at your destination.
After leaving school, Gordon moved to Calgary, working with Gestetner Canada, Alberta National Drug and CP Express for four years before moving to Red Deer.
In February of 1959, Charlie and Vera took an extended trip to Arizona and California. Their first real vacation in their married life. Charlie passed away in March of a heart attacked at Coronado, near San Diego, California. Gordon flew to San Diego by DC9 to help with the arrangements to bring his father home and drove with his mother back to Canada. Vera passed away seven years later in a car accident in Calgary.
In February of 1960 Gordon met Marina Nelson through a young adult group at the Gaetz United Church in Red Deer. After a whirlwind courtship, which was common in those days, they were married in December. They bought their first home in a new subdivision in Red Deer and their daughter Wendy was born later the following year. A son, Tom was born a couple of years later and in 1967 they moved to Oriole Park to the home Gordon would live in for the rest of his life.
Gordon started his foray into his lifelong interest in community service in 1969 when he was elected as President to the Oriole Park Community Association. During his five years as president, the association built a community club house, tennis courts and other improvements in the subdivision. In 1971 it was realized that there was an overcrowding in the Oriole Park school and Gordon began working for an expansion of the school. This eventually led to his being elected as a trustee to the Red Deer Public School Board, a position he held for six years.
The family went on many camping trips with their tent trailer over the years in Alberta and down into Utah. Then in the early 70’s Gordon and Marina bought a lot at the north end of Sylvan Lake and built a cabin which the family has enjoyed for 46 years and counting.
Gordon’s interest in genealogy and archives solidified in the 1980’s and collimated with him joining the Red Deer Archive Advisory Committee and the Red Deer Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society. He served on the executive of both between 1983 and 2000. In May of 1997 he was presented with the Mayor’s Recognition Award for Citizenship. He was involved in projects around Red Deer, such as preserving the old CPR train bridge and turning it into a pedestrian bridge, rather than being demolished.
He worked for the CPR for 38 years. Upon retirement he worked full time on his own genealogy, compiling thousands of names, documents and stories. He also enjoyed working on his stamp collection. Gordon and Marina regularly walked along the river valley and the trails of Red Deer.
Gordon and Marina toured the Yukon four times between 1976 and 1995. They went on a three-day canoe trip down the Yukon River and hiked the Chilkoot Trial twice. Gordon and Tom went on numerous motorbike trips, including two across Canada and USA.
Then the real travelling started. Gordon and Marina enjoyed extended travels Down Under, Europe, Bible tour of Israel and Jordan, the pyramids in Egypt, hot air balloon ride in Turkey, walked on the Great Wall of China, authentic pizza in Italy, the islands in Greece, and more recently Berlin, Krakow and Prague. They travelled many times with their children and grandkids exploring Mexico, Hawaii and Costa Rica (at the age of 75, Gordon went on seven zip lines over, under and through the cloud forests) and saw toucans, howler monkeys and sloths. A highlight for the grandkids was their annual holiday in the camper van with Grandma and Grandpa, for hiking, hot pools, museums, beaches, and ice cream while touring the western provinces.
Gordon was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015. He especially enjoyed the past summer at the cabin and many wonderful walks, being pushed in his wheelchair to Bower Ponds, Maskepetoon, and the trails around his home. He celebrated his 86th birthday at the cabin. Gordon will be lovingly remembered by his loving wife, Marina of 59 years (in December); his children, Wendy and Tom (Norma); grandchildren, Emily, Alison, Graeme, Kira and Aurora; his brother, Donald and numerous relatives.
A Memorial Service will be held at Gaetz Memorial United Church, 4758 50 Street, Red Deer, AB on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm, with a luncheon to follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Lending Cupboard, 7803 50 Ave #1, Red Deer, AB T4P 1M8 or at www.lendingcupboard.ca.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Charles Gordon Becker November 6th 2019..
Décès pour la Ville: Red-Deer, Province: Alberta