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James ‘Jim’ George Becker

September 13, 2012
The Mining Journal

GRAND MARAIS, Mich. - James "Jim" George Becker, age 78, of Emma Street, Grand Marais, died early Sunday evening, September 9, 2012 at Helen Newberry Joy Hospital in Newberry.

He was born on January 18, 1934 in Rochester, Michigan to Bryan and Helen (Rathka) Becker. He was raised in Rochester, summered with his family in Grand Marais, and graduated from Rochester High School in 1952. Jim then attended and graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor Degree in Science. He moved to Grand Marais and went to work for the Burt Township School District. In his thirty year career, Jim taught many different classes and served as the superintendent for most of those years.

He married (Joyce) Rhea Ostrander and, together, they raised their seven children.

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James ‘Jim’ George Becker

Jim loved being outdoors, and spending time at the family camp. He enjoyed sharing that love with the many friends and family in his life.

He was an agate hunter and bottle hunter (which were like currency to him). Jim enjoyed playing cards (especially cribbage and solitaire), reading and studying history, painting. He was a hunter and trout fishermen - and, only recently, began sharing locations of his secret fishing holes.

Jim was very active in the Grand Marais Community and served as a member of the Alger County Road Commission and was the Driver's Education Teacher for many years.

He also enjoyed wintering in Mission, Texas for the past twenty-three years. Jim was a member of the United Methodist Church. He loved helping others whenever they were in need and had become an "adopted" father and grandfather to many.

Jim is survived by his seven children Kim (Kevin) Paulson, Tamera Becker, Dawn (Terry) Sahnow, James "Randy" (Gina) Becker, Holly (Greg) Stambaugh, Jamie (Alfred) Hurschman, and Steven (Eileen) Becker; grandchildren Jessica, Mikah (Ryan), Danika, Brendan, Kendra, Kayleen, Lilia, Luke, Levi, Linden, Nathan, Craig, Kim Lauren, and Forrest; great-grandchildren Bailey and Elijah; and his longtime best friend and constant companion of twenty-three years Sandra Neely of Grand Marais and her family;

He was preceded in death by his parents Bryan and Helen, brothers David and Lawrence Becker, and former wife Joyce Rhea Becker.

Services will be held at the United Methodist Church in Grand Marais on Saturday, September 15, 2012. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Pastor Ian McDonald and former Pastor Mary Laub will conduct the funeral service at 1:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Grand Marais and a fellowship gathering will take place at the Community Center following the services. Memorials in Jim's name may be made to the Grand Marais Methodist Church, Burt Township School, or Grand Marais Historical Society.

Jim's obituary and guestbook may be viewed and signed at



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