Virgil Becker

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Virgil Becker, 90, of Smithton, IL, born April 1, 1933, in Smithton, IL died Saturday, April 1, 2023, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, IL.

Mr. Becker, along with his wife and son, was a co-owner of Becker’s Corner Tavern in Smithton, IL, for many years, and was a member of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association. Virgil was also the owner and operator of Becker Floor Covering. Virgil served his community from 1951 – 2019. He was the former mayor of the Village of Smithton for 16 years, a Village of Smithton trustee for 38 years, and had also served as a trustee for Smithton Township. Virgil was the past president of the Smithton Commercial Club, past chairman of the Smithton Improvement Association, former volunteer for the Smithton Fire Department, and a member of the Smithton Sportsman’s Club. Virgil was a current member of the Smithton Historical and Genealogical Society and received Outstanding Citizens and Hall of Fame Awards from the Smithton Commercial Club. He was a parishioner of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL, and a past member of St. John Holy Name Society, and had served as past president of St. John the Baptist School Board. Mr. Becker had been on the Freeburg, Smithton, Hecker Water Commission and the Summerfield, Lebanon, Mascoutah Water Commission. Virgil was an executive board member and past secretary of the Southwestern Illinois Council of Mayors and a member of the Southwestern Illinois Planning Commission. He was a current member of the Retired Carpenters and Floor Layers Union 433, a member of the Knights of Columbus, Hecker, IL, Assistant Sergeant at Arms Illinois Municipal League Conference, Chicago, IL, and member of the Citizens for Modern Transit. He belonged to the Lower Kaskaskia Stake Holders, Inc, the Kaskaskia Regional Port District, and a past member of the Kaskaskia Industrial Development Corporation.

Virgil and his wife, Jolene, loved to travel the world, including trips to Spain, Germany, Africa, and Portugal. In later years, they enjoyed many family trips on the lake in Branson, MO.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, R. Jolene Becker, nee Gottschammer, whom he married June 17, 1954, and who died October 23, 2018; a daughter, Jody Kay Becker; a grandson, Mark Schaefer; his parents, Adolph and Eleanor, nee Haudrich; three brothers, Kenneth Becker, Melvin Becker, and Harold Becker; a sister, Anna Mae; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ralph and LaVeda Gottschammer; two brothers-in-law, Charles Mulkey and Tom Sneed; and a sister-in-law, Betty Becker.

Surviving are his children, Randy (Rhea) Becker of Smithton, IL, Danny Jo (Michelle) Becker of Smithton, IL, Dustin Becker of St. Louis, MO,
Dawn Marie Becker (Lloyd) Schenewerk of Imperial, MO, and Mary (John) Melaga of Peoria, IL;
two daughters-in-law, Sue Becker of Smithton, IL and Donna K. Holyfield of Haughton, LA;
two brothers-in-law, Butch (Sandra) Gottschammer of Jacksonville, NC, and Bobby (JoAnn) Gottschammer of Fayetteville, IL;
grandchildren, Phillip (Julie) Becker, Jan Becker (Jeff) Dudowski Jr., Derek Mueth, and Zach Schenewerk, Melissa Marie (Turner) Thompson, Aimee Jo (Turner) Schaefer, Kristi Kay (Dan) Zink, JoJo Lee (Pete) Thompson Jr., and Hannah (Billy) Mauch;
great-grandchildren, Caillou Hernandez, Grace Hernandez-Dent, Jefferie Jr. and Brooklyn Wilson, Pete Thompson III, Parker Becker, Broden and Brock Becker, and Jordan Dudowski, Harper Thompson, and Autumn Zink; great-great-grandchildren, Ellie Marie Jolene Dent and Layla Smith;
two sisters, Sharon Mulkey and Carol Sneed;
two sisters-in-law, Jeanette Becker and Dora Becker;
nieces and nephews; cousins; and dear friends.

Memorials may be made to the Village of Smithton for the Park District or St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Restoration Fund, Smithton, IL. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 10, 2023, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Smithton, IL, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 11, 2023, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL, with Fr. Stanley Konieczny officiating.

Burial will be at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, Smithton, IL.



12 Comments on Virgil Becker

Brigid said : Guest Report Apr 18, 2023 at 3:28 PM

So very sorry for your loss. Virgil was a good man and I enjoyed running into him here and there around town when I was back. Thoughts to his children. Keep the memories close and speak often of him...through tears at first but then the laughter comes. It is the laughter that keeps him close.

  • Toronto
  • Ontario
Jody Hulling said : Guest Report Apr 10, 2023 at 4:40 PM

Sending my condolences to the family at this time. Sorry I couldn’t make it to be with you guys at this time. Sending love and hugs xoxo

  • New Athens
  • IL
Gary & Jolene Neff said : Guest Report Apr 08, 2023 at 9:46 PM

We were sad to here of Virgil's passing, we are so sorry for you immense loss💔 He was a kind hearted man with a servants heart, for his family and his community! He will be sorely missed, but yet, it comforts us to think of Virgil and Jolene together again❤️ Love and prayers, Gary & Jolene Neff

  • Jefferson
  • CO
Dale L.Blaes said : Guest Report Apr 07, 2023 at 2:58 PM

AstheformerPostmaster,i have fond memories of both of your parents. I am so sorry I missed hid funeral. Please accept my sinceresympathyon

  • Marissa
  • iL
Jebb & Kathleen Balch said : Guest Report Apr 07, 2023 at 11:30 AM

Very sorry to hear this news, our deepest condolences to the family. Virgil was one of the first people we met when we moved here, I can never recall seeing him without a smile and a kind word to be offered.

  • Smithton
  • Illinois
Mike & Niccy Cook said : Guest Report Apr 05, 2023 at 9:02 AM

Randy, we are so sorry for your loss. Your Dad was a very special man, always smiling and always happy.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Mark & Kim Forcade said : Guest Report Apr 05, 2023 at 6:42 AM

To the Becker families , very sorry to hear of Virgil’s passing. Always nice to see him out and about. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Please except our sympathy

  • Smithton
  • Il
Ted & Carol Popp said : Guest Report Apr 04, 2023 at 10:48 AM

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Smithton
  • IL
Susanne Godier said : Guest Report Apr 04, 2023 at 9:25 AM

You have my deepest sympathy. I'm so sorry for the loss of your father Virgil. I knew Vigil all my life and he was one of the sweetest man I ever knew. You never seen him without a smile on his face and always happy to see you. He will be greatly missed. My prayer is with the family duringthis time. May Virgil rest in peace and join with Jolene in heaven once again. Love Susie

  • Waterloo
  • IL
Bill, Brittney, Isabela & Liam Greene said : Guest Report Apr 04, 2023 at 7:54 AM

Dawn, I’m so sorry to hear of your dads passing. Virgil was such a sweet soul and always greeted you with a smile. I hope you can find solace in your memories during this difficult time. Love to you.

  • Smithton
  • Illinois
Rosanne Hettenhausen said : Guest Report Apr 03, 2023 at 6:44 PM

My sincere condolences on the passing of your dad. My dad, Norm Dohrman worked with Virgil, and they were friends for many years. May your memories bring comfort at this time. Rosanne Hettenhausen

  • Freeburg
  • Illinois
Dianne Cook said : Guest Report Apr 03, 2023 at 4:03 PM

So sorry for your loss Mary.

  • Peoria
  • Illinois

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