Marion Elizabeth Pitts Becker passed away peacefully at her home in Little Silver Sept. 1. Daughter of Florence Gertrude Pitts and Harold Arthur Pitts of England, she was born in the British West Indies.
She is survived by her sister Jennifer Griffin; her three daughters, Sarah Becker, Anne Becker Upton and Elizabeth Parker, and three grandchildren, Schuyler, Matilda May and Ryan.
She was educated in England and, while working at Schiller College in Germany, she met and married Sherburn “Peter” Becker III, who passed away in 1986. They moved to Little Silver in 1967.
Marion’s passions included historical conservation, history, archeology, travel, making and studying art, botany, opera, ballet, classical music, wildlife and wildlife conservation, animal welfare, skiing, fishing, cooking, spending time with her cats, children and grandchildren, among other interests. Her curiosity knew no limits: she was a voracious reader with a photographic memory and a vast knowledge of art, history, architecture, religion, anthropology and languages. She travelled extensively in Asia, Egypt, South America and all of Europe, as well as spending time in Alaska, fishing at the Mission Lodge and skiing in Vail, Colorado.
She was committed to community enrichment and children’s education and many other charitable works.
For many years Marion served with distinction on the American Cancer Society ball committee. She was active with the Monmouth Museum since the early 1970s until her recent illness. She served on the museum board as treasurer and for many years chaired the board. The scope of her work included every aspect of running the museum, from hanging and creating exhibitions to leading museum trips to New York. She was instrumental in establishing the Sherburn Merrill Becker Children’s Wing.
She was also active with the Monmouth County Historical Society and worked to raise money for animal welfare charities, such as the spay and neuter initiative at Two Mauds Inc., where she was on the board. She received a special commendation from the state of New Jersey for her work in the community. She was a member of the Sea Bright Beach Club and Rumson Country Club, and will be sorely missed by friends and family everywhere. Her love of life and knowledge touched everyone she met, and countless others she did not. Her influence will continue to make a difference.
There will be a memorial gathering in her honor at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank, Friday, Sept. 7 from 10 to 11 a.m. with a service 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Marion’s honor to the American Cancer Society at cancer.org, the Monmouth County SPCA at monmouthcountyspca.org or Two Mauds Inc. at twomauds.org.
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