Graybill G. Becker, 92, farmer, descendant of Valentine Becker, Jerusalem Church member, raised pigeons

By on February 7, 2018

Graybill G. Becker, 92, entered into rest on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. He was a resident of United Zion Retirement Home, located in Lititz.

For most of his adult life, Graybill was a farmer on his Lititz farm. Since 2014, he was the last Becker descendant to own land that was originally part of the 200 acre Valentine Becker Homestead purchased in 1747. On his farm, Graybill harvested various vegetables and crops such as alfalfa, corn and tobacco. He also raised pigeons and was always eager to show his bird operation to farm visitors and guests. In his later years, Graybill constructed an outbuilding closer to his residence, a portion of which was dedicated to his favorite bird-raising hobby.

Graybill, along with his late wife Shirley L. (Heiss) Becker, were members of Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rothsville. Graybill and Shirley would establish a long-standing tradition of frequenting local restaurants for lunch following Sunday services.

In 2005, Graybill and Shirley went forward with placing their farm in the Lancaster Farmland Trust, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Lancaster County agricultural land.

Graybill, born in Lititz and son of the late John M. and Minnie S. (Graybill) Becker, is survived by sister: Anna Mary Bowman; along with several nieces and nephews. Predeceasing Graybill is brother: J. Arnold Becker; and sister: Leah (Painter) Becker.

Services were held Feb. 6 at Stradling Funeral Home, Akron, with Pastor Bonnie Oplinger officiating. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.

Memorial contributions in Graybill’s memory may be made to Lancaster Farmland Trust, 125 Lancaster Ave., Strasburg, PA 17579; or to Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 36 Church St., Lititz, PA 17543.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at

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