Karen Jane (Unruh) Martens Becker (81) passed away peacefully , Tuesday, July 11, 2023 at Schowalter Villa in Hesston with family and her caring nursing staff by her side. Karen was born November 4, 1941 in Hillsboro, the youngest of two children, to Lee Vern and Edith (Jantz) Unruh. The family lived and farmed near Roxbury where she graduated 12th grade in 1960.
After graduation, Karen married her high school sweetheart, Milford Martens, on June 4, 1960 at Friedenstal Mennonite Church near Tampa, KS. The couple went on a honeymoon to Pioneer Village and ironically, the new bride and her mechanic husband broke down and had to replace the water pump roadside. To this union, two sons were born, Mark and Quent. As a young family, they lived in Hillsboro where Karen was a homemaker. Sadly, Milford passed away in October of 1970. The following year, Karen met Lee Becker and they married at Faith Mennonite Church in Newton, on September 3, 1971. This united their families bringing together their children, Mark and Quent, and Bob, Larry, Judy, and Jerry Becker. Together, the eight, lived on a farmstead near Goessel. **Karen and Lee were married nearly 17 years before he was tragically taken in a fatal car accident in August of 1987.
Over the years, Karen was a homemaker and worked at Bethesda nursing home in Goessel. Karen was a passionate caretaker to many, especially, her beloved family members. Karen was proud to distinguish herself as a “farm girl.” Whether she was doing dirt work around her house, hauling limbs or junk with her grandsons, or any other physical labor, she could do it all because she was a farm girl. Even at 80 years old, working alongside her grandsons, she reminded them that she may be old, but she was still a farm girl.
Although Karen enjoyed her work outside the home and said she liked not being “stuck in the kitchen” she was an excellent cook. She loved to prepare large meals to celebrate holidays and birthdays with her family. New Year’s cookies and a Christmas birthday cake for Jesus were two staples her family always enjoyed.
Karen enjoyed reading scriptures and listening to Christian hymns and gospels and fervently wanted all to know and accept Jesus as their Savior. Her faith helped to overcome many tragedies and health crises of her own and those that she cared for. She was a proud cancer survivor and fought fiercely through the many turmoils she and the family members she cared for faced.
Karen had a big heart. She always remembered those special dates. She learned much alongside Mark while he did photography. She spent countless hours talking with Quent on daily phone calls as he commuted to work. As grandma she always had a treat for her grandchildren and great grandchildren, from baking goodies to sneaking in a candy bar or finding the best garage sale deals to be had. She loved them dearly. She found ways to make those around her feel special and her love will be deeply cherished.
She was preceded in death by husband Milford Martens, and husband Lee Becker as well as her parents Lee Vern and Edith Unruh.
Survivors include her brother Gary (Nola) Unruh of Clay Center, children Mark Martens of Newton, Quent (Leisa) Martens of Newton, Bob (Nancy Becker of Stockton, Larry (Marcene) Becker of Devils Lake, North Dakota, Judy (Ray) Neufeld of Hesston and Jerry (Brandy) Becker of Wichita, Grandchildren: Branden (Trish) Martens of Chadron, Nebraska; Nathaniel (Chrissy) Martens of Whitewater; Cory (Anna) Martens of Kechi; Chris (Brandy) Becker, Cheney; Bret (Amy) Becker of Flint, Texas; Jessica (Roston) Newton of Devils Lake, North Dakota; Jon (Heidi) Becker of Devils Lake, North Dakota; Jeremy Neufeld of Denver, Colorado; Preston (Shea) Neufeld of Hesston, Kansas; Traci Hickman of Hesston, Kansas; Amy (Justin) Hurt of Overland Park; Mario Luna of Milford; Ally Becker of Wichita, Kansas; and Benjamin Cammarn of Wichita.