Tombstone Tuesday–Odas “Hod” Becher

"Hod" Otis Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Otis “Hod” Becher, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Odas “Hod” Becher, located in row 5 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:


According to the church records of Zion Lutheran Chatt, Odas LeRoy Becher was born 16 December 1901 to Georg W. and Maria (Schlenker) Becher. He was baptized 12 January 1902 at Zion, with Johann Becher and Friedericke Becher as sponsors. Odas was confirmed 30 May 1915 by Rev. W.F.H. Heuer.

Odas LeRoy Becher died 9 June 1971 at the age of 69 years. He was buried on 12 June, the Rev. Ralph Hershberger officiating at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home, Rockford. His funeral verses were Heb 4:16, 7:25 and 12:1-3.The church record also shows that he was survived by his wife, a brother and a sister.


Hod Becher Dies at 69

Odas (Hod ) Becher, 69, R. 1, Rockford, died at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Lima Memorial Hospital where he had been a patient six weeks.

He was born Dec. 16, 1901 in Mercer County, the son of George and Mary (Schlenker) Becher.

He married Vivian Carr in August of 1945 and she survives with two step-children, Robert Carr, Celina, Mrs. Doyle (Wanda) Gilliland, R. 1, Rockford; nine step-grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. Cletus (Lucille) Menchoffer, Coldwater; and one brother, Clarence Becher, Coldwater.

Mr. Becher was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, a retired-employee of General Electric Co., Fort Wayne, and a member of Willshire Lodge 667 S&AM.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home, Rockford, with the Rev. Ralph Hershberger officiating. Burial will be in Zion Lutheran Cemetery.

Friends may call at the funeral home after 1:30 p.m. Friday. Masonic services will be held in the funeral home at 8 p.m. Friday. [1]

I wonder how Odas came to have the nickname “Hod”. Hod Becher and his side-kick Ivan Johnson were mentioned nearly every week in the “Chattanooga News” section of the Willshire Herald. One installment reported that he was a Chevrolet salesman in 1933. [2]  But you have to wonder if that was fact or fiction since there was a lot of good-natured kidding in that section of the newspaper.

A few months later the paper reported: Hod Becher made a trip to Fort Wayne the first of this week to open the G.E. and put men to work. Everything looks rosy now. [3]

And, Hod Becher has been wearing a “wet” scented red rose. Several of the girls admired its great beauty. [4]

In 1930, “Otis” was living with his parents, George and Mary “Becker” and his brother Clarence. Otis’ occupation was farm laborer. [5]

In 1940 Odas was living with his widowed mother and brother Clarence in Chatt. Odas was single, 38 years of age and his highest level of education was the 8th grade. His occupation was given as an assembler at General Electric. [6] The Bechers lived near the Ted Lininger family in 1940. I remember Ted because he and his family went to Zion Chatt. His daughter Catherine still attends church there. I’m sure Catherine remembers Odas.

The above’ tombstone provides a nice likeness of Odas.

[1] The Daily Standard, Celina, Ohio, 10 June, p.1.

[2] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 3 February 1933.

[3] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 6 April 1933.

[4] The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 27 July 1933.

[5] 1930 U.S. Census, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, Enumeration District 20, p.3B, line 74, dwelling 68, family 68, George Becker; digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 24 February 2013); FHL microfilm 2341584 from National Archives microfilm T626, roll 1850.

[6] 1940 U.S. Census, Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio, Enumeration District 54-22, p.3A, line 39, house order 51, Mary Becher and p. 3B, line 41, house order 51, Odas Becher digital image by subscription, ( : accessed 24 February 2013); National Archives microfilm T627, roll 3114.


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  1. Never met Hod, but knew a widow “Becher” who lived just up the road from us on Rockford West Rd. Never knew her first name, just Mrs. Becher. Wonderful, sweet lady. Lived all alone in a big redbrick house. Actually, that could not have been his widow, she was widowed long before 1971. She attended Hopewell Lutheran also, so guess that was really way off. Thought I knew most of the people at Chatt Lutheran, but guess I was wrong about that too. Knew Ivan well, but never recall meeting Hod. Interesting. Then again, I do not recall all this gossip section in the Willshire Herold about Chatt or any other place for that matter. Guess as a kid, I really did not pay much attention to the paper.

    • Kate Eichler on February 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm
    • Reply

    Waldo, The Mrs Becher you are referring oi was Hilda Becher, wife of Bill Becher, she had one daughter, Doris and she was married to Robert Stover. Doris passed away a few years ago from cancer. Hilda had a big garden with lots of flowers. Her and I belonged to the Garden club in

    1. I think I remember Hilda from the short time I was in the Garden Club. I had forgotten that Doris was her daughter. Both families probably went to your church, Kate.

  2. Kate, thank you. You have no idea the warm and wonderful memories that you have unleashed. Bob Stover was my Sunday school teacher for a very short time in the highschool class. Even with knowing him and Mrs. Becher, I had no idea they were related through his wife.

    Hilda does sound right, though I still only really recall her as Mrs. Becher. I was just a kid and never even thought of adults having first names. She was so kind, gentle and giving. But that can be said of virtually everyone at St. John’s Hopewell. I think I can say with no reservation that Pastor Hoke and the congregation at St. John’s changed the path of my life with their love and kindness. The odd thing is that after teaching my confirmation class, Pastor Hoke took a call to another church and I have virtually never heard of him since. He was replaced by Pastor Miller who brought some controversy (that I never figured out), though he also was a powerful and positive influence.

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