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Frederick Henry Becknell

October 5, 1931 ~ April 25, 2018 (age 86)

Frederick H. Becknell passed away April 25, 2018. He was 86.

Fred was born in Rockford, Illinois, the son of Henry F. Becknell and Muriel (Faust) Becknell on October 5, 1931. He and his sister, Marilyn grew up on Revell Avenue in Rockford. After grade school he attended and graduated from East High School in June of 1948. He loved golf and played the game with his dad and on the East High School golf team.

He studied one year at Illinois State University at Normal, Ill. … He returned to Rockford after his freshman year in June of 1950. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in Chicago, Ill June 20, 1950, just as the Korean conflict was beginning. He finished basic training and was sent to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi to begin Radar Tech and Radar Mechanic Training. He spent time in Spokane, Washington with the 92nd and 98th Bomber wing groups until he was sent to Yokota, Japan to serve during the Korean conflict. He repaired Radar, ECM (electric countermeasures) and Long Range navigation systems. He was honorably discharged April 16, 1954.

Surrounded by family, Fred and Joan Fry were married on April 12, 1958. Joan and her two daughters, Beth and June, made a family. They moved from Rockford to Loves Park, Ill in the summer of 1965. He worked, chauffeured kids, golfed, walked the family dog (Koko) and went to restaurants for coffee and pie among other things. He worked at Barber-Colman Company of Rockford after his service in the Air Force before moving to Eclipse Fuel Engineering Co. He stayed with Eclipse for 25 years and retired at age 60 while Joan continued to work as a teacher.

During his leisure time he golfed at all the Rockford park district golf courses, especially Sinnissippi, studied the piano, took computer science classes at Rock Valley Jr. College and cared for his parents. He loved classical music. Mozart being his favorite composer. Fred and Joan loved to travel and often drove to Minnesota where both Beth and June lived with their families. They visited Hawaii on their 40th and 50th wedding anniversaries. They joined the Golden Agers travel group of Rockford and saw many places with them. They flew to England and drove to Scotland to see St. Andrews golf course and took trips to Europe and Washington D.C. They made annual trips to Florida to escape the winter cold.

In 1999 when Joan and Fred’s parents were gone they decided to move closer to Minnesota. Daughter Beth and her husband Ted helped them find Osceola, Wisconsin and they settled into their new favorite place to live. Fred golfed at the Krooked Kreek golf club with the men’s seniors, Joan volunteered with the Osceola Methodist Church. They both read books at the local coffee shops and they met the kindhearted people of Osceola and spent time in the restaurants in Osceola, Dresser and St. Croix Falls. They went to school plays, and supported the volleyball and basketball teams.

Joan began to have a change in health. Fred cared for Joan as Parkinson’s and Dementia began to weaken her body and mind. The two of them could be seen daily walking down the streets of Osceola holding hands. He gave up golf to drive her to church where she folded bulletins and they continued to meet friends at coffee shops. Eventually she was admitted to the Osceola Nursing home where she passed away October 10, 2016.

At 84 Fred developed heart disease and decided to treat it medically rather than surgically. When he had an event that left him too weak to live alone he moved to Bemidji, Minnesota to be nearer his daughter June and her family. He lived in Bemidji from August to April and made friends where ever he went. Due to an ever weakening heart he moved to Neilson Place nursing facility where he found another favorite place to live. He made new friends and lived happily there playing bingo, going to movin’ and groovn’ and entertaining the staff. Due to his continued heart failure, Fred passed away at Neilson place on April 25, joining Joan at last.

Fred was preceded in death by his grandparents; his parents, Henry and Muriel (Faust) Becknell; uncles, aunts, and a few cousins. He will be remembered by his children, Beth (Ted) Kenseth of Stillwater, MN and June (Tom) Wynne of Puposky, MN; grandchildren, Heidi Waterstraat of Eau Claire, WI, Holly (Steve) Simundson of Spooner, WI, Dallas (Alison) Wynne of Dresser, WI, Jeannette (David) Wielenberg of Puposky, MN, and Sarah (Seth) Duncan of Puposky, MN; ten great-grandchildren, Zach, Emma, Kayla, Will, Sam, Abby, Matt, Jonah, Justin and Jack; sister, Marilyn (Bill) Nelson; nephew, Chris Jones and niece, Cindy Wolterding; and his many wonderful friends.

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