Mount Vernon – Thomas James Becker passed away peacefully with his wife Janet by his side, holding his hand on September 12, 2022 in Mount Vernon, Washington. His struggle with medical issues over the past few years demonstrated his immense courage and spirit to face life’s challenges with a smile.
Thomas was born on September 26, 1964 in Lima, Ohio to Thomas and Rosanna Becker. He spent his childhood wreaking havoc and actively participating in Boy Scouts and 4H with his older brother Timothy. He attended Kenton High School and spent the last two years at the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, where he studied drawing before graduating in 1982.
After graduating, Thomas joined the US Navy as a Catapult and Catch Gear Maintenance Technician, where he served on the USS Ranger before being stationed at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. It was there in 1985 that he met the love of his life, Janet Harkins, at a backyard barbecue. They married on February 28, 1986 in Oak Harbor, Washington. The newlyweds then relocated to San Diego, California where Thomas was stationed at NAS North Island where he worked at OLF San Clemente Island. In May 1987, they welcomed their first child, Rachel. He was honorably discharged in 1988 and the young family moved back to Washington State, where Thomas enrolled at Skagit Valley College to study computer-aided drafting while also serving as a firefighter with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Mount Vernon Fire Department as a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT. In the fall of 1989, Thomas and Janet welcomed their second daughter, Jordyn. He graduated from Skagit Valley College in 1991 with a degree in Computer Aided Drawing and Design. He then used his degree to design homes in Mount Vernon. In the summer of 1993, Thomas and Janet completed their family with the birth of their daughter Tessa. In 1994, he began his beloved career as a federal firefighter with the Puget Sound Federal Fire Department on NAS Whidbey Island, where he rose to the rank of Captain until his retirement on December 29, 2017. He maintained a lifelong fraternity and proudly served as Vice President of his local IAFF group. Thomas loved his career as a firefighter so much that his wife and daughters often joked that he would do it for nothing.
Thomas has had many titles throughout his life and one he was most proud of was “Dad”. He shared mutual adoration and pride with his three grandchildren Bradley, Robby and Tommy. He gave them a shining example of how to be a good man, how to be kind to others, and most importantly, how to have fun.
Thomas was a notorious prankster with an infectious laugh and smile, to know him was to love him and he touched so many lives with his larger than life presence. In his free time, he was an avid golfer, playing and refereing softball, tending his lawn, spending countless hours on his lawn mower, and spending time with his beloved family. He had a competitive spirit and was always ready for any game or challenge that came his way. He loved watching football games in Ohio State, often made friend bets with his father when Ohio played Michigan State, undertook many home improvement projects, and took annual anniversary trips to Las Vegas with his wife Janet. Thomas was a passionate friend who dropped everything he did to help others and that spirit stayed to the end. Living his life in service to others, he always said, “You gotta put your own mask on first,” referring to his firefighter training and encouraging taking care of yourself so you can take care of others.
Thomas is sent to his death by his father, Thomas Joseph Becker. He is survived by his wife, Janet, three daughters, Racyl (Robert) Eddy, Jordyn Becker, Tessa (Joseph) Johnson, and grandchildren, Bradley, Robby, and Tommy Eddy. His mother Rosanna, sisters Carol Simon, Cindy (Kenneth) Belew, Michelle Becker and brother Timothy Becker.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made on his behalf to the Washington State Council of Firefighters Burn Foundation. The memories of Thomas will always be loved and cherished by his family and the many lives he touched. Rest up, Captain Becker, we’ve got the watch now
A viewing will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon, WA.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at the Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon, WA.
A funeral service and time of reception will follow at Hawthorne Memorial Park, Mount Vernon, WA.
Please visit www.hawthornefh.com to share your thoughts and memories and to sign the online guest registry.
Arrangements are overseen by Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon, WA.
Published by Skagit Valley Herald September 18-19, 2022.