Betty "Betsy" Irene Becker

October 5, 1926 - August 29, 2016
Born in Detroit, Michigan
Resided in Denver, CO
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Betty ("Betsy") Irene Koehrsen was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 5, 1926.
Parents Clara and Herb Koehrsen moved the family to a farm near Walnut, Iowa, where Betsy was raised along with a younger sister, Dorth, and a younger brother, Larry. Educated in a one-room schoolhouse, she received recognition as "The Smartest Girl in Pottawattamie County." After she was accepted into the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, she attended the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa. Betsy met Paul Becker while they were both on an OB/GYN rotation at the University of Iowa. They were married December 16, 1948. Upon completion of her R.N. degree, she served as a College of Nursing Instructor and Supervisor of the Communicable Disease Unit at the University of Iowa Hospital from 1948-1951.

Paul was in private practice (Surgery) in Pueblo, Colorado, prior to becoming a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. The USPHS led the Beckers to postings in Atlanta, GA; McNeil Island, WA; and Boston, MA. However, having lived in Colorado, they decided to return to Colorado when Paul was discharged. In 1958 Betsy and Paul settled into a home overlooking Washington Park where they raised their 2 daughters, Jan and Barb.

Volunteerism and giving back to others ran in Betsy's blood. Because of her nursing background and Paul's profession as a surgeon, it was natural for Betsy to become involved with the Medical Society Auxiliaries. She was asked to serve in a variety of positions with both Denver and Arapahoe Counties prior to accepting numerous Colorado State positions, including President of the Colorado State Medical Society Auxiliary and then legislative and committee duties with the national AMA Auxiliary.

Betsy was the Founding President of the Denver Chapter of Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge (FFVF). From 1974-1977 she was the National Chairman of Volunteers for FFVF. Betsy was the first female Chairman of the Administrative Board at University Park United Methodist Church, where Betsy and Paul were long-time members. She was honored as the South Kiwanis Volunteer of the Year and she was chosen one of ten "Beautiful Activists" in recognition of her many volunteer services. In 1975 her contributed service to the hospital and related activities was estimated at more than
10, 000 hours. Imagine what that number would be today after 40 more years of volunteering! When others thanked her for her service, she responded, "Just pay it forward." She was deeply invested in a sense of community.

Porter Memorial Hospital drew Betsy in for decades of service. She was President of the Porter Memorial Hospital Auxiliary in 1963 and again in 1994-95. She was employed part-time as the Volunteer Coordinator at the hospital and volunteered weekly at the information desk of the hospital for approximately 50 years until her death on August 29th, 2016.

Betsy is survived by her husband, Paul G. Becker, M.D. and her daughters, Jan and Barb. She has 6 grandchildren: Amy, Lisa, and Brian; Sarah, Zach and Kalilah….and 5 great grandchildren. The entire family gathered recently to celebrate Betsy's upcoming 90th birthday. Expressions from family members about Betsy included: compassionate, sassy, welcoming, caring, organized, nurturing, determined, patient, loving….corn on the cob, pot roast, onion dip, family vacations, loyal friends, Koehrsen stubbornness, games: Scrabble and Quiddler….a love of all things RED….an incredible example of a 68 year marriage to Paul and selfless care of her family.

She has blessed the lives of family members, friends, neighbors, volunteers, hospital visitors, strangers. Hers was a "life well-lived."

Memorial gifts may be made in Betsy's name to either of the following:

"Porter Volunteer Department"
Checks should be mailed to:
Volunteer Department
Porter Adventist Hospital
2525 S. Downing
Denver, CO 80210

"Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge"
Checks should be mailed to:
Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge
PO Box 67
Valley Forge, PA 19481-0067




Fort Logan National Cemetery
3698 South Sheridan Boulevard
Denver, CO US 80235
Friday, September 9, 2016
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Celebration of Life Service
University Park United Methodist Church
2180 South University Boulevard
Denver, CO US 80210
Saturday, September 10, 2016
10:30 AM