Heaven is so lucky…they get never ending Gramma Buns now!
Theresa J (Berte) Becker, 84, of Royal, Iowa skedaddled from this world and was greeted in heaven by her husband, Harold, and her parents. This is the most glorious day of her life, the day she lived her whole life for!
Theresa was born February 23, 1939, the 5th of 6 children to Alphons and Adeline (Moes) Berte. She spent her early years on the family farm near St. Joe, with extended family on nearby farms. She graduated from St. Joseph School in 1957, after determining that no girl should ever have to take calculus! (Her kids and grandkids did anyway!) The time she spent learning Home Ec was time well spent. She was a great cook, cooking from scratch 3 meals a day for a lifetime. Her grandkids’ favorites included the homemade buns she made, fondly named Gramma Buns. They were melt in your mouth delicious. While raising seven near-angelic kids, she sewed some of the kids’ clothes and all of the doll’s clothes. The Becker Barbie Dolls had the most exquisite wardrobes ever! The Beckers also had the best handmade quilts! Harold and Theresa set up quilts in the family room each winter…and quilted all season long.
She met her one true love, Harold Becker, after he got terminal leave from the Army. While dating, they frequented the Plantation Ballroom in Whittemore. She shared stories of Harold’s mad skills on the dance floor for years!
They married on January 21, 1959, and farmed on the Becker Family Farm near Wesley before moving to the farm northwest of Algona that they called home. They spent several decades farming before retiring to Texas’ Gulf Coast. While farming, they took some pretty spectacular vacations with their Vigortone Feed friends and family. Theresa always said she could pack to go anywhere in the world in 5 minutes. Having never met a stranger, she would return to Iowa with tales of the people she met on her trip.
Theresa farmed side by side with Harold, doing livestock chores, performing custom work for others, and farming their own ground. Everything they did, they did as a team. That even includes taking seven kids back to school shopping at the same time! They highly valued education, and sent all seven children to college.
Volunteering was something they felt strongly about, and they spent countless hours helping out at St. Cecelia. Theresa was a Eucharistic Minister, as well as a Grand Regent to the Catholic Daughters of America, while Harold was a Knights of Columbus Grand Knight.
After retiring from farming, Harold and Theresa moved to South Texas for nearly a quarter of a century. They started their life together on a honeymoon to South Padre Island, and were thrilled to be able to retire in that area. She continued her volunteer work in Texas, helping out at the local food bank and at the Port Isabel Light House. When time allowed, she would join Harold for a game of pool. She took Spanish classes so she would be able to better communicate while volunteering. She continued doing crafts, going for walks, enjoying the beach, and sharing meals with friends. South Texas was definitely a happy place for her.
More recently, the Beckers moved from Texas to be with family. Initially they spent winters in Florida and summers in Iowa. After Harold died, Theresa was content to remain in Iowa. This allowed her to see family quite frequently.
She is survived by her seven children: Janet (Ed) Barkley, Sioux City, IA; Dar (Walt) Elbert, Emmetsburg, IA; Marlys Withrow-Hill, Pueblo, Colorado; Amy Becker, Sioux City, IA; Doris (Brian) Elbert, Freeport, FL; John (Lisa) Becker, Ponce de Leon, FL; Sara (Matt) Ricke, Royal, IA.
She loved her 23 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren. She was diligent in her record keeping, and never missed a birthday or an anniversary. She is survived by 1 brother as well as several brothers and sisters by marriage.
She leaves behind quite a large family who love spending time with each other. She taught us that Christ was King and family was everything! Her kids/grands/greats loved spending time with her.