SEMPRONIUS — David A. Becker, lifelong resident of Sempronius, passed away at home surrounded by his family on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the age of 72, after a four-month battle with cancer.
Dave was born on March 3, 1946 in Cortland, a son of the late Howard and Martha (Matijas) Becker. He remained on the Becker Farm his entire life, living in the home he was raised in and eventually raising his children there. After graduating from Moravia High School in 1965, he met and married his love and companion, Victoria (Anderson) Becker.
His love of farming went beyond his own land, as he was often called upon by local farmers and organizations to share his knowledge and troubleshoot any type of soil, spray, or farm equipment issue. He operated his dairy farm until 2000, and then continued to work side by side with his family working the land to grow a variety of crops, hay, and straw, all while having a full-time job at Cornell University working at the Freeville Farm. His gardens over the years provided an abundance of produce for all his family, as well as many neighbors and friends.
An avid hunter, Dave enjoyed hunting deer, turkeys, rabbits, and coyotes. More than the actual hunting, Dave loved being able to share countless stories of both successful and not-so-successful hunts. He began pulling tractors at a young age, and continued to pull his beloved antique tractor at several local truck and tractor pulls up until last summer. Dave was instrumental in organizing the placement and building of the high tunnel project for the Ag Department at Moravia High School, and in 2016 was awarded an honorary Chapter Degree from the Moravia FFA.
He was a pillar of the community, serving on a variety of boards and organizations including the Sempronius Fire Department, Trustee of the Christ United Methodist Church, member of the Farm Service Agency Committee, New York State Forest Practice Board, President of Sand Hill Cemetery, Sempronius Youth Garden, Finger Lakes Antique Power, and was a Sempronius Town Board Member for 20 years.
No matter what challenge was presented to Dave in his life, he remained positive, put his trust in the Lord, and relied on the love of his family to get him through any situation. His humble, kind, compassionate, and generous spirit will continue to comfort and guide his family, friends, and community in the coming weeks and months.
Dave is survived by his wife of nearly 51 years, Vicky Becker; four children, Shawn (Julie) Becker, Amy Becker (Michael Holl), Jimm (Tammy) Becker, and Alison (Michael) Weaver; nine grandchildren, Emily (Brad Mulvaney) Ettinger, Jacqueline Becker, Paige Becker, Ian George, Dane George, Zachary Becker, Madison Becker, Grace Becker, and Maxwell Weaver; two great-grandchildren, Carson and Cara Mulvaney; special cousin, Neil (Connie) Becker; and a large extended family of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In addition to his parents, Dave was preceded in death by his sister, Kathleen Burhans.
The family will be present to receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, 2018 in the Christ United Methodist Church, 36 Church St., Moravia. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 23, 2018, in the church. Prayers of Committal will follow in Sand Hill Cemetery in Sempronius.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that people kindly give a donation in Dave’s memory to the Moravia Central School District, Attn: Agriculture Department, P.O. Box 1189, Moravia, NY 13118 or the Sempronius Fire Department, 2284 State Route 41A, Moravia, NY 13118.
For additional information please contact Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg. 607-387-8151. www.ness-sibley.com