Mary W. Becker, 83, teacher at John Beck, enjoyed scrapbooking, travel, helping others

By on January 16, 2019

Mary W. Becker, 83, of Akron, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 surrounded by her loving family at Hospice and Community Care, Mount Joy.

She was born in Rothsville to the late Michael N. and Jennie S. Wenger, and was the wife of John D. Becker, with whom she shared 30 years of marriage.

A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, she later received her master’s degree in education from Millersville State College.

Mary was a passionate teacher, starting first at Ephrata Mennonite School, before moving on to Poarch Indian School in Alabama, as well as in Ontario at Poplar Hill First Nation School. She then went on to teach in the Warwick School District at John Beck Elementary for many years until her retirement. She also carried that same passion in sharing the love of learning with all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In addition to volunteering at many locations, she also was the manager at the People’s Place in Intercourse for several years. She was also very active at the Ephrata Church of the Brethren, serving as a deacon and on many other committees.

Mary loved to travel and one of her most beloved destinations was Alaska, which she visited again with family last summer, just five months before her passing.

Mary also enjoyed scrapbooking, gardening, cooking, canning fruits and vegetables, fishing with John and family in Crisfield, Md., reading and staying in touch daily with her many friends and relatives. She was also a grand storyteller, sharing her many life experiences in great detail at home, family reunions and special events. Most of all she loved helping people in need and giving lots of love to her family, especially her grandchildren.

She was an accomplished writer and genealogist, putting together histories of both the Wenger and Becker families over the years, including the Jennie Wenger Pictorial Genealogy, and her most recent Valentine Becker Genealogy, which was published in 2017. She also authored a book on the Carpenter Mennonite Church.

Mary’s parents taught and modeled lives of prayer, faith in God, love for family and loyalty to the church. Their teachings and examples were positive influences in shaping her life.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by son: Donald, husband of Carol Becker of Leola; and daughter: Donna Stauffer, fiancée of Andrew Fasnacht of Ephrata; grandchildren: Kristy, Donald Jr., Matthew, Rachel, Caroline, and Sean; five great-grandchildren; siblings: Kathryn, wife of the late John Ebersole, Ephrata; Bertha, wife of Ben Brubaker, Manheim; Michael W., husband of Mary Wenger, Ephrata; Anna, wife of the late Ron Reimer, Lititz; Paul W., husband of Elsie Wenger, Akron; Martha, wife of Robert Harnish, Manheim; a sister-in-law: Anna S. Wenger, Ephrata; and a brother-in-law: Rufus Hoover, Mountville.

In addition to her parents, Mary was preceded in death by siblings: Mabel Ristenbatt Saylor, Grace Ebersole, Laura Hoover, Norman Wenger, Esther Wenger, and Edna Cramer.

Services were held Jan. 14 at Ephrata Church of the Brethren, with Pastors Rob Eshelman and Mike Wenger officiating. A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to Ephrata Church of the Brethren Deacon Fund, 201 Crescent Ave., Ephrata, PA 17522.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences and memories may be shared at

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