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John A. 'Jack' Becker

John A. 'Jack' Becker

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SPARTA — John A (Jack) Becker, 88, passed away Sunday, July 19, 2020, in St. Louis.

Jack was born Dec. 7, 1931, in Benton.

He married Bertha Mae Sternberg on Aug. 22, 1953, in First United Methodist Church in Sparta.

Jack graduated from Sparta High School in 1949. He went to University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, for one year, and then enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict. After his discharge, he attended Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, on the GI Bill, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in business administration.

In 1954, he started working as a part-time teller at First Federal Savings and Loan in Sparta. Upon graduation, Jack began his financial career at First Federal. Over the years, Jack was chairman of the Illinois League of Savings Institutions, chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, trustee of the Financial Institutions Retirement Fund, and director of U.S. League of Savings Associations. Jack retired as president CEO of Charter Bank in Sparta. He was honored as the Outstanding Citizen by the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce, president of the Sparta Rotary Club, and chairman of the Sparta Community Hospital Board of Directors. He also served two terms on the Belleville area College Board of Directors including chairmanship. In 1989, Jack was inducted into the SIU College of Business and Administrations Hall of Fame. He was named by the college as the Southern Illinois Business Leader of the Year in 1992. In 1997, he was honored as the college's Alumnus of the Year.

Jack was a member of First United Methodist Church of Sparta.

He served on the Okaw Valley Council of Boy Scouts. He was a lifetime member of Sparta Country Club and was also a member of Kelly Greens Golf Club in Ft. Myers, Florida.

Jack enjoyed genealogy, reading, fishing, golfing and investing. He also enjoyed attending his grandchildren's sporting events.

Jack is survived by his wife, Bertha Mae Sternberg Becker of Sparta; children, Jane (William) Southworth of St. Louis, Julie (Klay) Tiemann and Janice (Carlos) Barbour of Steeleville; grandchildren, Kristen Southworth, Katy (Stephen) Lestmann, Will Southworth, Phillip (Keshia) Tiemann, Tyler (Julie) Tiemann, Taylor (Christopher) Eck, Jennifer (Tommy) Klausing, Will (Julie Wooley) Frederking, and Reid Frederking; stepgrandchildren, Jennifer Barbour, Jon (Logan Blind) Barbour, Laura (Jeremy) Thies; great-grandchildren, Harper Rodewald, Madeline and Luke Tiemann, Jack and Andrew Tiemann, Lane Frederking, Hannah and Noah Thies, Kolton Welty, and Lynen Barbour; brother-in-law, Rolland (Joyce) Behnken, Kansas City, Missouri; sister-in-law, Marge Sternberg, Walsh; niece, Betty Howerton; friend, Ronnie Ramsey, and many other nieces and nephews.

Mr. Becker was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Geneva (Morris) Becker; and one sister, Marilyn Behnken.

Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, July 24, in Caledonia Cemetery in Sparta, with Minister Randy McGeehon officiating.

Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church in Sparta or the John A. Becker Scholarship Fund.

To sign the guestbook online, visit

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