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Gary Earl Becker

Gary Earl Becker, 72, of Belleair Bluffs, FL, passed away on November 25, 2017, at the Morton Plant Rehabilitation Center in Clearwater.  He moved to Pinellas County from his native Illinois in 1974. He was born in Belleville, IL, and lived in New Athens. His family owned the HiWay Lumber Company in New Athens. Gary participated in baseball, basketball and track in high school.  After graduation he attended Milliken University in Decatur IL graduating with a degree in psychology.

He was a school psychologist in IL for 5 years before moving to Florida where he obtained his Masters Degree and began working in Pinellas County Schools. He retired in 2005 after 36 years of public school service. He was also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and maintained a small private practice before he retired.

He was a devoted father to his sons and throughout the years frequently they spent nights and weekends on every ball field possible. More recently, he enjoyed watching his grandchildren as they, too, became involved in athletics including baseball, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, softball, football, golf and gymnastics.

As a young man he enjoyed distance running and participated in several marathons as well as numerous 5 and 10k races. He enjoyed the outdoors, hiking and camping with his family and friends. After retiring, he traveled across the country with his wife, Carolyn, exploring the parks and forests of the United States.

Gary was well known for his knowledge of and love for the automobile. He always kept up with new car models and would offer advice and even assistance to anyone considering buying a car.

Gary touched many lives throughout his career and can rest knowing he changed lives for the better. His wisdom and joy lives on in those he leaves behind. He is missed by all who knew and loved him.

He was preceded in death by his father, Earl Becker.  He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; mother, Ruth Becker of New Athens, IL; sons, Ryan Becker of Atlanta, GA and Jeff Becker of Palm Harbor, FL; sister, Sondra Meyer of New Athens, IL; and three grandchildren, Caleb, Maddie and Alex.

A celebration of life will be held at Capogna’s Dugout Restaurant in Clearwater, FL on Saturday, Dec 9th from 12-3:00.

Memorial donations may be made to The Special Operations Warrior Foundation ( or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

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  • Ronnie and Carmen Daigle says:

    Carol, we are so sorry. Gary was a wonderful man, and we were so happy to have met him and shared the visits we did. You are in our prayers. Don’t forget us! Love you.

  • Stephanie Battle says:

    My condolences to u Carolyn, Ryan, Jeff and the entire family. May God continue to bless and strengthen each and every one of u. Thank you for welcoming me and allowing me to take care of Gary. It was only for a short period but it seemed like a lifetime. Gary was loved by all and he will truly be missed. God Bless

  • Brendan & Krissy Binder says:

    We are so sorry about Gary’s passing. He was such a down to earth gentlemen. Always gracious and genuine. Our deepest condolences are extended to his entire family and Gary will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.
    With Much Love,
    Brendan and Krissy

  • Kathryn Henson says:

    Carolyn, I’m so sorry for your loss. Hope to see you Saturday. Take care of yourself.
    Love, Katie

  • Terry Conyers says:

    Dear Carol, I never became acquainted with your beloved husband but he certainly sounds beyond wonderful. I am very happy for you that you had such a soulmate and enjoyed so much of your life with Gary.
    God’s peace to you at this difficult time.

  • Meagan Bennett says:

    I only met you a few times, but you always seemed to shine. A life well lived and well loved. Thank you for the support you gave to S.W.O.F. and being a rock for our rock…Carolyn…as always you are in my heart.

  • Meagan Bennett says:

    December 1, 2017 at 2:14 pm
    I only met you a few times, but you always seemed to shine. A life well lived and well loved. Thank you for the support you gave to S.O.W.F. and being a rock for our rock…Carolyn…as always you are in my heart.

  • Cathy Mangin says:

    Carol, not even sure what to say. As your lifetime friend, my heart hurts when you are hurting. Gary was “your guy” and that was all I had to know. As I have said before, to know him was to love him. You will carry him in your heart forever. As a member of your tribe I will always be there for you. Love you!!

  • Mark Welch says:

    Dear Carol,
    Gary was one of the nicest,caring, giving,
    Thoughtful,gentleman I have ever known.
    He loved his family. Gary and Carol just
    like two peas in a pod. Always together,
    always smiling, happy, laughing caring
    about each other every second of every minute,
    every hour of every day. Just a blast to be around
    When Gary smiled he lit up a room. When Gary
    And Carol smiled and laughed together it was pure
    Entertainment. I will miss him greatly. I will miss
    Them as a couple even more.
    Gary loved his dirty martinies however he was
    A little stingey on the olives. He would always
    give you one but he would eyeball it to make sure
    Iit was the smallest one in the jar. One could
    see those wheels turning as he held the martini
    just for an extra moment or two then you could see
    the sparkle in his eye and that famous grin and
    he would say “Perfection”.
    I will miss my wonderful friend Gary. I will miss Carol
    and Gary as a couple. Knowing that Gary that is up in
    Heaven shining his smile down upon us all of us.
    Carol and Gary a couple that were very easy to Love. ❤️

  • Claudia & Jerry says:

    So hard to say Good By to a friend.. and so sad you need to say good by to Gary so soon.
    We are reflecting on so many times together always believing there would be another. Our life was filled with Gary’s friendship, the interest he showed in our life and the sincerity he gave us. We are always here for you and will see you Saturday.
    Love Always Claudia & Jerry

  • Mary Cummings says:

    …so appreciative of knowing Gary………I worked with him in his position of school psychologist at two local high schools……….he was bright,knowledgeable and so very good at what he did…………he lived his life well!

  • Allan Stahl says:

    we were classmates from the 1963 class at New Athens high school. I was thinking of the times that Gary came out and we spent time together on my folks farm in our junior high days. Gary would spend a night or two on the farm and we would have a great time playing baseball, swimming , and some farm, work. We were also close friends while in school at New Athens . I would also have some overnights at his home in the summer. I was sad too hear about his illness at our class get together in September when he wrote the class a letter too explain his cancer. My deepest condolences too his family ,he will be missed and I had lots of good times with one of my best friends from my school days .

  • Dottie Jessup says:

    I am so sad to hear of Gary’s passing. He was so great to work with at Clearwater High. Gary really understood and could reach troubled teenagers especially the young men. He will be missed. My heart goes out to Carolyn with Gary’s loss. May wonderful memories comfort you.

  • Nancy Schaeffer says:

    Dearest Carol… The dance with your best friend is far from over. May each memory of your extraordinary love be the wings that lift you up. Gary is but a feeling or a whisper away. 🙏🏼

    Nancy Schaeffer

  • Nancy Harkins says:

    Carolyn, I am so sorry for your loss. Gary was a funny, insightful, and passionate individual. I know you two had an intense love for each other and he will be missed. You will be in my prayers.