Gary Becker

Date of Birth

May 8, 1939

Date of Death

June 21, 2018

Gary Becker was a caring family man, a dependable friend, a determined attorney, and an energetic advocate. He was curious and complicated and uniquely fashionable. He loved good food, parties, arts and culture. And he lived a radically examined life, increasingly devoted to the spirit.

Gary was drawn to those in need and he promoted and supported many social justice organizations. He was particularly passionate about JustFaith Ministries, which transformed him; Fonkoze USA, which brought him into solidarity with the poor; and La Casa de Maria, which became his spiritual home.

Gary was born on May 8, 1939, in Tell City, Indiana. He attended Indiana University, where he earned both a bachelors and a law degree. He was a distinguished trial lawyer for 20 years in Indiana, and another 20 years in Louisville, Kentucky. Upon his retirement in 2004, he moved to Santa Barbara, California. He died peacefully at home on June 21, 2018.

Gary will be very greatly missed by Mary, his wife of 54 years, and by his daughters, Holly (married to Dermott Downs,) and Candice (married to Curt Schwarm,) and his son, Jeremy Becker, as well as by his granddaughters, Tallulah Downs and Ava Schwarm. He will live on in the memories of his sister, Meredith Oberhausen, and his many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends.

His family gives thanks for the fine caregivers who tended Gary at home during his last years. And the family is grateful for the support of the members of Social Venture Partners, the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes, and the Immaculate Heart Community.

Gary was always grateful for the many gifts in his life and he sometimes expressed this in poetry.

Saturday, Sunshine
Warm July,
Strolling through the farmers’ market
The harvest abundant today.

Strumming and singing,
Feet tapping
As they celebrate that chariot swinging low.

Suddenly – Heart opens,
Soul touched,
Eyes fill,
And I am part
Of all this.

Flow love,
In this moment of blessing –
Let me share my gratitude.

There will be a celebration of Gary’s marvelous life at a memorial service in Santa Barbara in late summer.


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