Norman Becherer

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Norman J. Becherer, 92, of Belleville, IL, born July 31, 1926, in Paderborn, IL, died, Monday, January 7, 2019, at Dammert Geriatric Center, Belleville, IL.

Mr. Becherer was a United States Army Veteran.  His service included involvement in the liberation of Camp Mauthausen Nazi concentration camp in Austria in May, 1945 and relocation of the surviving POWs there until September,1945. Norman was awarded the Victory Medal, the European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, two Overseas Service Bars, the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.  He was a charter member of Catholic War Vets Butz-Jobe Post #370 and was the last surviving member of the original group from St. Teresa Parish. He was a life-long member of St. Teresa Parish, a member of the Church Building Committee, and past President of the Holy Name Society at the church. Norman was a recipient of the Belleville Citizen of the Year award and received accolades at the Belle-Scott Dinner in 2016.  He worked at the Belleville Post Office as Head Window Clerk before his retirement and was a member of APWU (American Postal Workers Union) from 1965 until present.  Norman played the accordion and harmonica since early 1946 and was very active at the Shrine playing with a kitchen band.  He built his own home and was called upon by many to assist in their own building.  He could do anything from carpentry, wiring, plumbing, etc.  He was an artist, woodworker, and mechanic.  Norman was a true example of a life well lived.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 35 years, Dorothy, nee Franke, Becherer, whom he married on May 25, 1949, and who died on August 11, 1984; his parents, John and Bertha, nee Schaefer, Becherer; a granddaughter, Angela Billhartz; a brother, Cletus Becherer; a sister, Bertina Davis; a brother-in-law, Charles Franke; and two sisters-in-law, Marguerite and Arlette Franke.

He is survived by a son, Ronald (Sandra) Becherer;
three daughters, Nancy (Michael) Billhartz, Jayne (Bruce) Knapp, and Barbara (Gregory) Kimutis;
14 grandchildren, Timothy (Andrea) Becherer, Michelle (David, Jr.) Garris, Neal (Jennifer) Knapp, Christina (Timothy) Mueth, Brad Billhartz (Iris Hyunji Park), Keith (April) Becherer, Kathryn (Nathan) Norsigian, Kendra (James) Nowatzki, Joni Knapp (Colin Calvanese), Maria Billhartz, Nicholas Kimutis, Anthony (Emily) Kimutis, Elizabeth Kimutis, and Mary Kimutis;
19 great-grandchildren, Peyton, Blake, Joseph, Adeline, and Mackenna Becherer, Claire and Colin Garris, Tristin, Riley and Jacob Knapp, Colin, Cailynn, and Gianna Mueth, Dax, Levi, and Tenley Norsigian, James and Maeve Nowatzki, Marin Sauzek and Baby Kimutis, expected in February;
a brother, Ardell (Mary Ann) Becherer;
two brothers-in-law, Ralph Franke and Richard Davis;
and a sister-in-law, Esther Becherer.

The family would like to express their respect and gratitude for the loving care provided to Norman at St. Francis and Dammert Geriatric Center at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

Memorials may be made to Family Hospice, to St. Teresa Catholic Church, or to the Catholic War Veterans. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, January 10, 2019, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, January 11, 2019, at St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL. A Catholic War Veterans Post #370 ritual will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Funeral:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, January 11, 2019, at St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. David Darin and Msgr. Kenneth Schaefer concelebrating.                   

Burial with military honors will be at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Shiloh, IL.


15 Comments on Norman Becherer

Mary Lauff-Ward said : Guest Report Jan 12, 2019 at 2:25 PM

Uncle Ardie and family, I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. My thoughts and prayers are with you. His obituary displays a tribute to a wonderful man who will be greatly missed. Love you all very much. Mary

  • Weldon Spring
  • Mo
Joe Davis Family said : Guest Report Jan 11, 2019 at 11:24 PM

Sorry to learn of Norm's passing. Our prayers are with the entire family sat this time. May God be with all of you.

  • Linwood
  • Kansas
Mike Kish said : Guest Report Jan 11, 2019 at 1:43 PM

Ron and his grandkids did not fall far from the tree when you look at this member of the greatest generation! Condolences Ron and family! Mike Kish

  • Columbia
  • IL
Sr. Barbara Brunsmann said : Guest Report Jan 11, 2019 at 2:33 AM

Dear Ron and family, I remember your dad as quite and a real gentleman. I am sure he will be missed.

  • St. Louis
  • Missouri
Dale Blaes said : Guest Report Jan 10, 2019 at 4:08 PM

I had the privilege of working with Fine man . Always a smile and a “Good morning “ each day. My condolences to Ron and his sisters. Norm wa one of the finest man I knew

  • Marissa
  • IL
Jane Spreng said : Guest Report Jan 10, 2019 at 1:31 AM

Ron and Sandra, your father certainly lived a life of service and friendship. Take comfort in his good life Jane Spreng

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Jim Winter said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2019 at 9:57 PM

So sorry to hear of Norm's passing. We were very fortunate to grow up next door to the Becherer's and share in Norm's warmth and joy. I remember rides to school, cartoon murals in the basement and lots of accordian music. One of the great neighborhood Dads! RIP Norm!

  • Chicago
  • IL
Gene Wiggins NARFE Chap. 1019 said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2019 at 9:51 PM

Sorry For Your Loss. Please accept this electronic message in lieu of a Sympathy Card. Local National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) volunteers provide help in reporting the death of any federal civilian retiree or a retiree’s spouse to proper authorities. They will explain the process as needed and if requested, can report the death to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM 888-767-6738) for you. They can also assist in filling out claim forms for survivor benefits and life insurance You may call either of our Service Officers, Jim Haley at 618 795-5174 or Dean Hemmer at 618 233-3819. If unable to reach either, you may call Gene Wiggins at 618 566-7980.

  • Mascoutah
  • IL
Tom & Margie Reaka said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2019 at 8:41 PM

Our sincere sympathy to all the families. You are in our prayers.

  • Freeburg
  • Illinois
Mary Pritchett said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2019 at 7:03 PM

So sorry about Norman. He had a great sense of humor and fun. What a nice man!

  • Mascoutah
  • IL
David Garris Sr. said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2019 at 6:11 PM

Norm always added a ray of sunshine to a room. Such a kind, good spirited soul. He will be missed.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Patrick Ferland said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2019 at 2:48 AM

So sorry for your loss

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Don and Sandy Steppig said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2019 at 1:57 AM

Our deepest sympathy to all the family. Norman was a true man of God! We have so many fond memories of Norm, good times and so much fun and great music. I remember the great music Dad and Norm played together! Much love, Don and Sandy

  • Phoenix
  • Az.
Dorothy Demontigny said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2019 at 12:49 AM

Best loving, Greatest Uncle ever. Say Hello to my Frank.

  • Yantis
  • Texas
Donna Amburn said : Guest Report Jan 08, 2019 at 11:13 PM

Ron, so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. It sounds like he lead a very full life. I’m sure God has gained another angel st his side to help him carry on his good work. God Bless all of you. Gary and Donna Amburn

  • Golconda
  • Illinois

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