Leo Joseph Becht, age 84, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on December 16th, 2022. Leo, an amazing husband, father, brother and friend, was born to Lambert and Loretta Becht in Webster South Dakota in 1938. The family of five boys farmed southwest of Webster South Dakota. Leo attended St Otto’s Catholic School and Webster High School. Leo served four years US Navy starting in 1956, where he served on the USS Ticonderoga. Leo returned home and married Barbara Upton. The couple moved to Madison, South Dakota where Leo worked for East River Electric, accumulating 40+ years from Lineman to Manager of Construction and Maintenance before retiring in 2000. The couple then relocated to Spearfish South Dakota. Leo was an avid hunter and fisherman, ice fisherman and trapper.
Leo joined Civil Air Patrol and became a private pilot in the early 1970s. Leo volunteered for CAP with the South Dakota Wing for over 30 years. He earned the Commander’s Award twice along with Member of the Year in 2004. Leo finished his CAP career in Spearfish flying biologists around the Black Hills searching for collared mountain lions. It was a career Leo loved and was one in which he made many friendships with other pilots in Civil Air Patrol.
Missing their grandchildren, Leo and Barbara relocated to Coeur d’Alene Idaho where they could be closer to family. The couple enjoyed wintering in Sun City West, AZ.
Leo was dearly loved by his family and friends who he blessed with generosity, care, and humility. He was kind, gentle and genuine.
Leo and Barbara celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on April 28, 2022.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Loretta and Lambert, and brothers Leroy, Larry and Lyle. He is survived by his wife Barbara; brother and sister-in-law, Loren and Tina Becht of Danville IN; daughters Susan Becht and Cathleen Bourque both of Coeur d’Alene ID and son John Becht of Cle Elum, WA. Four grandchildren – Casey Bourque, Monique Bourque, Cole Becht and Jake Becht, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and five granddoggies.