William E. Becker

William Edward Becker, 64, checked out unexpectedly at home in the early hours of February 3, 2015.

Please join the family for a Celebration of Life, 1 pm Sunday, March 1st, at American Legion Post 202, 3669 Legion Lane, Columbia, MO.

Bill was born January 6, 1951, in Independence, MO, to Edward Louis and Dora Mae Stinnett Becker who raised him in a loving home. From 1970-1979, he served with distinction in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service in the Pacific Fleet, earning various awards and commendations. He and wife, Gwendolyn Davis Becker, shared innumerable adventures together for 45 years and were dedicated to each other and their three sons, Shaun Christopher, Justin Andrew, and Todd William. Together, they learned extraordinary life lessons while living and traveling in the U.S. from coast to coast. In 1985, the family settled in Columbia, MO, where Bill, a nuclear health physicist, worked at Callaway Nuclear Plant until he retired in 2007. Since age 10, Bill was active in Boy Scouts of America, was a Hardway Warrior in the Tribe of Mik-O-Say, and served as Assistant, then full Scoutmaster of Troop 734 at American Legion Post 202 in Columbia. He guided many boys and proudly watched them become good men. Bill was a herpetologist, and he and Gwen explored Central and South America together, enjoying their fascination of reptiles and all life. His passion for reptiles led to involvement in various organizations, including two terms as President of the International Herpetological Symposium. He and Gwen created a unique home and reptile facility in Central Missouri, where they spent the rest of his life in that labor of love and wildlife. Bill’s amazing drive and motivation are great inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to be part of his life. We are better for having known him, and his absence will leave a vacuum in all our lives.

He leaves behind Gwen, sons Shaun, Justin, and Todd; sisters Jane Bryant (Kenneth) of Goodyear, AZ, and Virginia Anderson (Raymond) of Idaho Falls, ID; granddaughters Cassandra Hoisington and Luna Becker; great-grandchildren Jypsy and Charlee Hoisington, Jason William & Kona Becker, and Ithaca Bell; many loved ones, nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless friends.

Memorials are suggested to the International Herpetological Symposium; or Boy Scouts of America: Great Rivers Council, or Heart of America Council.

Visits: 13


  1. Diane McAlpin on February 15, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Gwen- my sincere condolences to you and your sons.

  2. Tricia and John Brilhart on February 16, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Dear Gwen and sons,
    We were shocked to learn of Bill’s death. Bill was such an energetic person. I am glad he was able to enjoy years of retirement. He will be missed.
    Tricia Brilhart

  3. Jody Stinnett on February 17, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    condences to the Becker family from the Stinnett’s in Independence. Your in our prayers.

  4. Bob Reinisch on February 17, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    On behalf of the United States Submarine Veterans (On USSVI), we offer our sincere condolences to Gwen and all of the Becker family and friends in your loss and sorrow. May God whisper peace into your hearts and comfort and heal them. We are grateful for Edward’s service to our country in the U.S. Submarine Service. To our “Brother of the Dolphin” … “Sailor, rest your oar. We have the watch. May you rest in peace and may God bless your loved ones who remain. Thank you for your service to our country.” — Chaplain Bob Reinisch, National Chaplain United States Submarine Veterans, USSVI.

  5. Dave Lochhaas on February 19, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Gwen, I am saddened to learn of Bill’s passing and my sincere condolences to you and your family.

    It has been many years since I met Bill, back in the days of the MMHS herp club. I remember how he raised the bar in everything he was involved with and how it was very much my pleasure to know him.

  6. Rod Derleth on February 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I worked with Bill for many years at Callaway and we carpooled for a short time when I lived in Columbia, MO. When I think of Bill I laugh and smile, and I guess that is the best gift someone can leave when they depart this life. I am better for having known him…

  7. Steve Leach on February 19, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Gwenn, Shaun, Justin and Todd,
    At every stage, in the Navy, working at Callaway and continually striving to make good music, I learned from Bill and am proud to have called him my good friend. He had a huge heart.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  8. Terry Mcdonald on February 20, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Gwen,Shawn,Justin and Todd I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Bill (as we liked to call him at work) was my friend and I am going to miss him….

  9. Anne Marie Cuellar on February 22, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Our thoughts, love and prayers are with you all. Love, Tim and Anne-Marie

  10. Jim Little on February 28, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Bill’s family is in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss. I have many good memories of Bill both as a co-worker and a bandmate.

    My life was greatly enriched because my path through life intersected with Bill’s.

  11. Greg & Kalua King on March 1, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    We enjoyed meeting Bill and your sons not so long ago. We both commented to each other how you, Gwen, have been surrounded by tall handsome men. We are sorry for this deep loss for you and the “boys.” Our prayers are that your tall handsome men gather you close and keep you near. With love,
    Greg and Kalua

  12. Jesse Lee Hart on March 17, 2024 at 2:44 am

    Rip bill. I remember u so much u helped me grow up. Jesse

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