Virginia Cornelia de Ronde Becher, of Hamden, Connecticut and formerly of Marion, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully in her sleep at home in the early hours of Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at the age of 82 after a long illness.
Virginia was born in Manhattan, New York on February 17, 1941 to Marguerite Tansey de Ronde and Richard Peter de Ronde. She was raised in Bayport, New York alongside her younger siblings Richard and Denise. In her early teens, Virginia lived with extended family members in The Netherlands, learning Dutch, attending school and sparking a lifelong love for the country of her ancestors.
Following her return to the United States, Virginia graduated from Bayport High School in 1959 and subsequently obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Keuka College in 1963 and a Master of Library Science from Pratt Institute in 1964. She established a rewarding career as a librarian at American Education Publications, the publishers of My Weekly Reader, from 1965 to 1967 in Middletown, Connecticut.
In 1967, Virginia married Robert MacAdoo Becher at Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church in Sayville, New York. Following a move to Massachusetts and Robert’s establishment of a general surgical practice in southeastern Massachusetts, Virginia and Robert raised their children Katherine and Robert in Canton, Massachusetts, eventually moving full time to Marion, Massachusetts, where they had previously spent summers since 1984.
Virginia was an active member and leader of many charitable, community, educational and ecclesiastical organizations, including Saint Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, The Fortnightly Club of Brockton, The Beverly Yacht Club, Blue Hill Montessori School, Noble & Greenough School, The Park School, Thayer Academy, Fuller Craft Museum, WGBH Boston, Faith in Serving Humanity and the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church.
Virginia loved to cook for her family and friends, needlepoint, read, travel, eat French Toast with real maple syrup, do water aerobics and yoga, go to the beach, host gracious Christmas gatherings, sing and meet new people. Her sense of direction and ability to navigate without a map are legendary. She avoided eating fruit at any cost.
Virginia is survived by her husband, children and siblings; son-in-law Marc de Mul and daughter-in-law Daniela Hochreiter; and grandchildren Willem and Eleonor de Mul and Franziska and Otto Becher.
A light has been extinguished with Virginia’s passing, though her elegant spirit will undoubtedly live on in the hearts of all who knew her and seek to emulate her superior ability to listen, curiosity, warm kindness, open-mindedness, ability to see the best in people, patience, unwavering ethical bearing and ever-embracing love.
A memorial service celebrating Virginia’s life is scheduled for Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 11:00 am at Saint Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Marion, MA. Condolences may be sent to The Whitney Center at 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, Connecticut, 06517, attention Robert Becher. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to a local public library in Virginia’s name.