John “Jack” Becker, Jr was born October 26, 1942, in Saint Charles Missouri, and was taken way too soon on June 15, 2022, at 9:18 AM. He was 79 years old.
I and so many others had referred to him as Coach Becker or simply Coach. This is because, for many years he coached basketball at my high school, although by the time I was a student there, he taught honors science and driver’s education in addition to being a guidance counselor for seniors.
Due to various reasons, I was unable to attend his memorial, but I still wish to express my condolences and disclose the impact he had on my life.
There are many stories I wish to tell of this kind-hearted, jolly, hard-working, and humble gentleman.
Some are directly from experiences I have had with him and others are stories I’ve heard from numerous sources.
Both he and Mister Luigi Vegas were the driver’s education teachers at the time I was taking the course and I made it my business to drive with Coach Becker because I wanted to hear all of his corny jokes and amazing stories.
He made me laugh and smile frequently.
I remember him going off on a tangent about mobile phones during the driver’s education course how he didn’t need one, didn’t want one, wasn’t important enough for one, and frankly didn’t want to be bothered by one. At the time I thought he was crazy for at least one of those statements, because to me and I am sure many of his students, colleagues, and family, he was tremendously important. I now though see how he would not want to be bothered by a phone and my fiancee can tell any one of you how I cringe whenever my phone goes off because I too don’t want to be bothered. I now see exactly where he is coming from.
Another story is on the day when he was going to be teaching me how to parallel park he announced that we were going PP in the street between two police cars. He then said how “PP” in this case stands for parallel park and if he were to tell that to a female student how she would freak out. After my driving lesson for the day was done, I went home and told my dad how Coach Becker made me PP in the street between two police cars in Downtown Houma. My dad was getting ready to blow a gasket then I told him how PP stands for “parallel park.” Of course, I had the exact reaction I wanted.
It was always fun to be near his office during Christmas time because he had Classic Christmas songs playing on a stereo system.
After his passing, I heard local broadcaster Martin Folse speaking fondly of Coach Becker speaking with people near and dear to him. It was from watching this, I learned of how he used to listen to Saint Louis Cardinals games on the radio. Had I known of this while I was in high school, I would have applied my skills acquired from my radio hobby and shown Coach Becker how AM broadcast signals travel much further at night, and on any given night he could have tuned in to the AM radio stations from Saint Louis and tuned in the games.
I remember his straw hat and his fondness for peanuts and how it was a comical sight to see him sitting on a school bench, wearing his straw hat and eating peanuts.
Though he had a temper when highly provoked, there was such a gentleness and innocence about him.
God truly broke the mold after he created Coach Becker.
I miss him and I wish I would have visited him more often.
Before I conclude, I will say that wicked people in high places have sown plenty of discord and divisions amongst as many groups as possible. So maybe I didn’t visit him because of the vast amount of difference between my generation (Millennial) and his generation (Silent.) Therefore I was worried that he would be disappointed in me.
We must need overcome our differences if we ever wish to get back to the better times we once had and I am preaching this to myself as well as anyone else. The only One who can restore this is Jesus Christ and I think Coach Becker would have agreed with that statement.
All in all, I miss Coach Becker and I wish God would have made more men like him.