Michael 'MHO' Becker

July 8, 1946 – December 19, 2017

MHO, born Michael Peter Becker on July 8, 1946, transitioned UPWARDS and AWAY this December 19, 2017 at 9:33 am. He was a loving son, father, brother, grandfather and compassionate FRIEND. Two years ago he was given a prognosis, and with it a six-month expiration date. He took that time and DANCED and DREAMED and lengthened it by 400% so as to continue engaging us with mischief and spark-igniting fun in DEFIANCE of statistical norms. Born and bred a proud Wisconsin cheddarhead, he was a Green Bay Packer fanatic from day 1 all the way to day 26,098. He worked as a sound recordist for film and TV across four decades. He loved golf, refining his putting stroke on the practice green as recently as a week prior to his death. You may remember: his generous smile, his cranky moods, his activism on the corner of St. Francis and Cerrillos encouraging us all to RESTORE PEACE, his wild conspiracy theories, and his delight at all forms of dance and prayer. He is preceded in death by his father Lyle Michael Becker. He is survived by his mother Dolores Joanna Jacobs/Becker, his sons Michael and Canton (from his former marriage to Françoise), his sons’ partners Laurie and Leah, by his siblings Kristine, Susan, Paul, Patrice, James, Peter and Jonathan, and by his grandchild Benjamin (and others to come). We will miss his unmistakable LIGHT in person, but shall see it forever reflected in the SUN, MOON and STARS through which he will continue transmitting his LOVE to us all. His family wishes to acknowledge the incredibly patient and loving care he received from all the caretakers and staff at the Christus St. Vincent Cancer Center.

If you'd like to make a gift in MHO's honor...

These worthy organizations all held a special place in MHO’s heart:

VETERANS FOR PEACE

Veterans For Peace is an international organization made up of military veterans, military family members, and allies. They are dedicated to building a culture of peace, exposing the true costs of war, and healing the wounds of war.

DONATE

KUNM RADIO

If you ever visited MHO at his home or in his Toyota 4-runner, you know the radio was ALWAYS playing. He relished the variety of programs on KUNM, and was our local radio station’s number one fan.

DONATE

THE TIBET FUND

The Tibet Fund’s mission is to preserve the distinct cultural identity of the Tibetan people. Under the patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Tibet Fund funds health care, education, refugee rehabilitation, religious and cultural preservation, elder care, and community and economic development programs serving hundreds of thousands of Tibetan refugees.

DONATE

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30 entries.
Johanna & Steve Brown from Fernandina Beach FL wrote on June 23, 2018 at 6:15 pm:
We are grateful to share some of your special memories even at a distance.
Kristine Becker from Kimberly, WI wrote on June 21, 2018 at 11:45 am:
Ah, Michael, my bright, bold, brilliant, beautiful, big brother. Although you´ve moved on, you remain with me, as the breath of your spirit fills my being with MHO-light. In the early days, I attributed my stubborn refusal to live in a world without you to a state of shock and denial, for such loss is simply too large to contain. Now here we are, approaching your MHOmorial gathering that Michael and Canton have so carefully and lovingly arranged, your last days in the Bardo having ticked away months ago. Yet, I´ve become accustomed to your presence, so that I do not grieve in any conventional sense. Rather, I celebrate you in each sunrise and sunset, and try to honor your legacy of peace and love in daily acts of gentle kindness. You are my teacher, guide, medicine man, hero, protector, friend, confidant, cheerleader, and constant companion. I cherish you, ever grateful for your love, as your light continues to burn brightly in my heart, always. Dr. K
Annie Horkan from Vero Beach wrote on June 20, 2018 at 5:00 pm:
When I met Michael in 1997, he wore his striking gray hair in a ponytail that was paired with his expansive smile as wide as the ocean. Our friendship was marked by his unique, eccentric and often ecstatic character, whereby my time spent with him was always a reflection of these extraordinary attributes. From breakfast meetings at the most hidden, unknown spots in Santa Fe, to accompanying him on his late night filming of trendy Raves or driving into the middle of nowhere at midnight to assure a premiere view of meteor showers, life with Michael was always an adventure in feeling more alive. I never made it to Burning Man with him despite his many requests...that I now regret...but I always got to live it through his magical, masterful photos. It wasn't until I first visited the Alamo house that I realized the depth of his sweet sorrow: a sweetness deepened by the pain of loss and a sorrow that was best left undisturbed and buried. And yet, out of the unsorted chaos, Michael found the shards and threads that mattered most: those of kindness, compassion and an innocent wonder and curiosity. I wear often the iridescent silver baseball cap and intricate silver earrings he gave me, and corners of my home contain all the little, exotic trinkets that only Michael could give. Fly on, my sweet friend, into a realm of mystery and wonder. I will never forget you...for you were a man who always showed up for me and made me smile.
Patti Becker (MHO's Sister) from Basalt Colorado wrote on May 17, 2018 at 6:14 pm:
I want to relate the experience I had with MHO last week when I went to visit my dads grave site in Brillion Wis. As I stood there at the grave I thought it would be nice to have something there to represent MHO. A pinwheel came to mind. I saw a Shopko Department Store on my way into Brillion, so I decided to go there to find an item to represent MHO to put at the site. When I entered Shopko the song In the arms of an angel by Sarah Mclachlan was playing over the loud speaker. "In the arms of the angel may you find some comfort here" This sent chills through my spine. I proceeded to find something to represent MHO. In the middle of the aisle I saw a box filled with pinwheels. I chose the yellow one. I looked at it a bit closer and found that it was made in Canton MI. I was flabbergasted to say the least. My heart felt the warmth of MHO. I went back to the cemetery and placed it in the ground next to my fathers grave stone. It sputtered away with the wind. MHO's energy for sure. Thanks MHO for bringing your life to me. Peace & Love Patti
Susan Svetnicka from Santa Fe wrote on February 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm:
I am Michael's younger sister. I have been waiting on entering my passage until I had been reminded of a good story. I recently spent some time with our 96, almost 97 year old, Mom in Appleton. She reminisced about the time when Michael wasn't feeling well. Dr. Jack Guthrie, the pediatrician, stopped by the house on Dewey St. in Brillion to see how Michael was doing. (House calls in those days!) He came down the stairs after seeing him and said: "I can't believe what a happy little boy he is. Even when he has a fever and feeling lousy, he still has a big smile on his face." From the beginning of his life, throughout, and in the end, Michael was always smiling. Michael loved to be with people. Through "thick and thin", we love you for that smile, Michael.
Sanniv & Cherie Manifest from Santa Fe wrote on February 6, 2018 at 7:32 am:
Canton Thank you for inviting us to Mho’s birthday celebration last year … so we could meet him and his extended family … and dance the dance while also being immersed in his energy and spirit which was the heart of that gathering … We have a deeper sense about Mho through you ... and despite the brief meeting we were able to feel him and his depth through the creativity and the joyous sense of aliveness and freedom that pervaded the party. We honor Mho and his journey through the Bardo - onto a new life … with these two poems (from Rumi and Mary Frye) … ==== On that final day … Do not think my soul will stay in this world. Do not weep for me, crying, Tragedy, tragedy. You will only fall into the snares of delusion— Now that’s a tragedy! ... Do not cry out, Gone, gone. It is my moment of union. It is when I come upon the eternal embrace of my Beloved. ... Do not say, Farewell, farewell. For the grave is but a veil covering the splendor of Paradise. Having seen the fall Consider the rise. What harm ever came to the setting Sun or Moon? What appears to you as a setting is for me a rising. What appears to you as a prison is for my soul an endless garden … beyond paradise. ~ Rumi ==== === ==== Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die. ~ Mary Elizabeth Frye
Stephen Jules Rubin from Santa Fe wrote on January 9, 2018 at 7:43 pm:
this poem i wrote inspired by the news of Mho's passing as well as our other traveller friend in music nature dancing etc Jeffrey Terr (not to mention others who left their Earthly frames in 2017)... I shared it at the Gregg Turner & Friends gig on Xmas Eve Day, on my radio show in MAdrid MEtaphysical Biscuit and in my set of Off Beat Stand Up Spoken Words on New Years Eve on the Plaza...with the dedication to our beloved Mho Becker... we shared many an endevaour passion and moments in the dance techno outdoors world and the filmmaking world...and more... see ya in the other realm Michael Mho...healing peace and love to your awesome sons (dear friends of ours) and their families and all your many loved ones and travellers...see ya in the next realm and if you see my father, please say hello and i recommend you eat his cooking...if it works that way out there...peace love and friendship -Julesy For Michael Mho Becker Life is a short (in the end, in the beginning maybe and in the middle even) like me; Biscuit is the little bit of tiny bits that i know maybe and if you mess with life it might be even shorter like me grab the nugget while it saps or wait till the cancer kills desire or time and leaves regret of course its easier done than said i mean its not its harder to do than to say the short biscuits of life’s donut holes make the short pieces a short lived whole SJR SF NM Dec 22 For Michael Mho Becker & Jeffrey Terr
Daisy wrote on January 2, 2018 at 4:35 pm:
Mho passed away this week. More than ever before with more and more loved ones leaving here for the sky I feel vividly that we all come from the universe and the great unknown and it is there that we return. Such a trip this life, but loving someone and having them leave their bodies behind here on the earth, I like having something tangible to hold on to, and so I know that the sparkle of their eyes keeps lighting up the night sky. That’s where all that light in the darkness comes from. And they say that the universe is growing and multiplying all the time, all these bits of carbon and water returning to the earth, shards of stardust joining the cosmic dance in the sky. When I think about Mho, I can see that twinkle in his eyes, the laughter in his face, the jester, looking, laughing, loving. Like a wizard, or Mary Poppins, he’d dig deep into the edges of his carpetbag, house, truck, find the perfect reminder to BE, reminder to love, it was usually at the bottom of the bag, but he’d find it and he’d pass it along to you, to remember. Mho loved freely and with intensity, willing to see beauty, willing to be vulnerable, wanting to shower it on the people that he loved, sometimes windy, raucous love, tumultuous and unpredictable, sometimes lusciously soft and warm, he’d blanket you in it. I think of him and our visit to Meowwolf where we explored another dimension and he opened a secret door into somewhere I didn’t expect with the eyes and enthusiasm of a boy on Christmas morning. Full of creativity and brilliance and curiosity. I’ll remember him in the desert, scarf around his head, beads around his neck, dressed in tie dye, listening to the music greats, the way he looked my Mom in the eyes and how she told me after meeting him, “He’s great, when is he coming over!” Desert Trippin’, the songs cleverly got us all up front together, surrounded by love and timeless music, lights, family and friends. And the way that he seemed not to care that you were waiting, he could take care of himself just fine, make friends with strangers, trip out and be, you make your choices too, and maybe you grumbled and wondered what he could possibly be looking for in that damn truck and would he ever find it? And you talk yourself into being patient, because you know he means well, and you love him, and he’s surely in pain, this fight with chemo, cancer and more, but you only wonder and wait and sit back and then maybe remember to look up at the sky, to love him exactly as he is, was, will be. He loved all the way. Even when he was sure to kick your ass at Catan or disc golf or just being right. He’d explain the subtleties of the rules or the way it goes while he offered you chocolate and other edibles from his travels and pulled stories from the wind. Mho, decidedly unique and charming, obstinate and supremely himself. At times it seemed that he wouldn’t change, stubborn and right, but then he did change, much to everyone’s surprise. You can’t make someone do what you want them to do, but you can enjoy them as they are, you can notice the subtleties, be willing to see them. He was listening. And it was time to see the changes within the sea of all the ways we wanted him to change and see that really perhaps we just wanted him to stay. Ultimately I know he changed, he changed us; he changed me. It feels good to be loved that way. You know the way that I mean. Maybe he was my dad, teacher, child, lover, student, playmate, all of those, or none but undeniably my friend, I love you Mho.
Theo from Seattle wrote on December 29, 2017 at 3:20 pm:
What a life force you were and what great memories I have of you – and what a loss it is to know you gone... as I’m writing this I can see you, hear your voice; years ago, on the set of Cityscrapes and on the Arizona Highways. Bon voyage, señor. I will miss you.
Faith from Brillion, WI wrote on December 29, 2017 at 4:40 am:
In his early years, Michael and I grew up in the small city of Brillion, WI. There was no shortage of kids on Dewey Street to get a game of "it" together, playing ball on the street or whatever. There were the 5 "Behnke sisters" next door, Juno boys and sister, the Ross kids, Wolfmeyers and Biederwolfs. Those were easy and innocent times to grow up in. Condolences to his family on his passing.
Carla Lamont from Clearwater wrote on December 27, 2017 at 4:48 pm:
I met Michael many years ago and from the first I was touched by his welcoming smile, kind eyes, and adventurous spirit..always open to the gift of the present moment. He has left us,but not left us for he lives on in our hearts, in memories shared. Michael & Canton my life is fuller, better for having known your Dad. With prayers and my deepest sympathy. Carla
Char Rothschild from Santa Fe wrote on December 27, 2017 at 5:16 am:
Dear Canton - as a teenager I was really influenced by your father's home, as I myself sought my place in things. Sitting in his living room with you one night, in the company of some others from the Plaza, as you drank your ubiquitous tea, I was shown an example of a home and life that was calm yet deeply playful. I have always been concerned about being accepted as I am, and this was a time I still remember feeling that I was welcome, even without acting out some amplified image of who I was. The peace I felt in Mho's home that night has continued to radiate through my life since then. I'm thankful to have known him and to have seen the ways he honored beauty and surprise.
Bill Glaze from Santa Fe wrote on December 26, 2017 at 2:36 pm:
A person whose spirit dances within all who met him! Eternal peace, MHO
Patrice Karen Becker from Basalt wrote on December 25, 2017 at 5:21 am:
Michael is my oldest brother, we are having lots of communication with each other. He is giving signs of himself through the Rolling Stones song, in my head, Beast of Burden. And the Beatles song, Come Together, that played on the radio last night. When I hooked up to Canton's website today and heard Come Together, this confirmed all of the signs and signals Michael has been sending me. It all started on Friday Dec.15. I went to a party with a live band. Thought it strange they only performed songs of the Rolling Stones. Already Michael was preparing me for his journey beyond what we know. Today I walked by a store and it had a display of a plaid shirt, it had the Rolling Stones trademark mouth and tong on the back. Not just one but several. I'm not sure just how many mouths were on the back of that shirt. My first album that I ever owned was the Rolling Stones that Michael gave to me. I could go on and on about MHO's signs of Love, remembrance, communication and presence with me. Love you Bro MhO! Peace All Ways! Patti
Laura Center from Santa Fe wrote on December 24, 2017 at 5:51 pm:
I had never heard of Michael until reading his obit today. But I would like to honor him for generating, in those that have survived him, such a beautiful, refreshing way of acknowledging his transition. What a joyful way to celebrate his life through this innovative, refreshing, not to mentioned needed way, of honoring. Well done, one and all.
Charles Penny from Querétaro, Mexico wrote on December 24, 2017 at 2:43 pm:
Now MHO is free from the chains of this mortal world. But, in many ways, he was always freer than many of us, living according to his own rules and conscience. I don't have many very specific memories to share, but I will always remember his calm, soothing voice and broad, sincere smile, which were outward expressions of a gentle soul. I do recall that as his boys grew to leave home and I left the home of my own parents, he and my dad enjoyed playing golf together. When I got the sad news of his passing, the idea that he and my dad might be reunited with a round of golf in the next world came to mind and brought me some comfort. I send love to all who included MHO in their lives.
Marla from Santa Fe wrote on December 24, 2017 at 9:02 am:
Blessings and condolences to you Michael, & your family and all the loved ones for the loss of Moe. I totally enjoyed when I could play Petanque with him and so enjoyed his positive attitude. His t-shirts rocked and was always with anticipation as to which great t-shirt he would wear. A man who fully lived in his skin. RIP Moe, god speed.
David from Santa Fe wrote on December 24, 2017 at 8:02 am:
A man with as many talents as outfits who marched to his own tune and always had a smile even when you knew there was pain. Condolences to Michael and we hope you will continue to join our Sunday morning [Pétanque] play.
Janet from Santa Fe wrote on December 24, 2017 at 6:03 am:
He was/is a great spirit who inspired me with his love of adventure and uniqueness. Blessed that we all got to play with him this last season.
Rad from Santa Fe wrote on December 24, 2017 at 6:03 am:
We were blessed to have him amongst us for as long as we did. From our fine times spent on the [pétanque] piste, I learned that he was a spirited, present-in-the-moment and liver of life, who was a joy to engage with and have some of it rub off, at the same time. I will carry this forward. Blessings and condolences to Michael, his family and loved ones for this great loss.
Nancy from Santa Fe wrote on December 24, 2017 at 5:01 am:
A true radical who always brought spirit and a spark to the [pétanque] piste. Sadly no mo. A staunch Packer Backer and Cheesehead Pal. Vale Mo! Condolences to Michael and family. Nancyj
Julie Conant from Boulder wrote on December 24, 2017 at 12:04 am:
Michael made people feel special. He paradoxically carried a sense of a child-like wonder for the world while also being a true skeptic of the 'Big Brother' mind-sheeping institutions. He was reachable by way of the heart, and resolute towards the aspects of life he recognized as good for people. Those qualities that encourage our souls to expand, to dissolve differences, and find our likeness in the sustain of a shared smile. When we crossed paths in 2001, It was clear we had known each other for aeons. He was able to be witnessed in his playfulness, as well as in his shadow. He bared all in a way that I hoped to emulate. Michael did life gracefully. His lightness touched me in the most kindred of ways, and every charmed chance to reconnect through the years, left me feeling loved in a big, most universal kind of way. He was able to transmit the love of the Universe through being. He will live on in sparks of insight, glow of gratitude, and those special moments when our timeless nature is illuminated. Shine on Mho!
michael gzaskow from santa fe wrote on December 24, 2017 at 12:01 am:
I first met MHO circa 1999 and since then our journeys ran parallel with birthdays,weddings and celebrations to partake in the joys of life..with remarkable support from his 2 sons and family the last 2 years demonstrated his courage and zest for the cosmic ride(his words)that we all share.My fondest memory (and a vision)that will stay with me forever is MHO at the corner of St. Francis and Cerillos Rd. carrying a sign to remind us that Peace must be fought for and championed...never to be taken for granted.... A poem by Leonard Cohen best captures(for me) MHOs essence : Like a bird on the wire Like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried in my way to be free Like a worm on a hook Like a knight from some old fashioned book I have saved all my ribbons for thee If I have been unkind I hope you can just let it go by If I have been untrue I hope you know it was never to you.... Like a bird on the wire Like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried in my way to be free MHO did go gentle into that good night... with peace, grace and love/surrounded by family..we must not forget him and the gifts he shared with us... GO PACKERS/GO WISCONSIN !!!
Sawyer from Once was santa fe wrote on December 23, 2017 at 8:34 pm:
Canton and I go back almost 30 years now. I knew his dad as a friend's father. Distant but present acquaintance. One night years ago now we went to see Spalding Grey and MHO ended up taking on stage to Spalding with everyone very amused at the similarity between the 2. Later in life I saw him a few times and noticed that an end that he had had been worn smooth. He seemed much lighter and had a bit of a exuberance that I didn't remember being there before. I had always meant to follow up with Canton about this change in his old man but never did.
catherine renard bert from miami wrote on December 23, 2017 at 7:36 pm:
we are very sorry for the lost of your father Michael, He was a great and wonderful person. As I told Françoise I have a lot a nice memories with him in Santa Fe and also when He came in France to visit us. I remember him talking about music, he had stars in his eyes. Our hearts are with you in this time of sorrow. Remembering his wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in our hearts. Famille Bert et Renard (the French cousins)
Rome Viharo from Los Angeles wrote on December 23, 2017 at 7:32 pm:
Michael Sr, you are the gentlest soul I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. I'll never forget our time together. I am so sorry I never got a chance to say goodbye. To the stars with you!
Richard Newhouse from NYC ++ wrote on December 23, 2017 at 6:17 pm:
Always danced to his own.. I will forever be greatful for our journey (50+) together. C U later ole friend 😇😎💕
Shaina from San Francisco wrote on December 23, 2017 at 4:57 pm:
I met Michael at Burning Man in 2001 when I was 26 years old. And for many years after that, we belonged to the same camp. Typically, a big group of us would go out together at night. As people got sleepy or split up to pursue different adventures, the group would fracture. Both Michael and I always seemed to wind up being lone wanderers. And had the uncanny ability either to run into each other on remote dance floors dancing to particularly "undanceable" music, or while tiptoeing back to our tents. Once we established that we rolled in around the same time (shortly before dawn), we started watching sunrises together. I lost count. There were many. Some we watched just the two of us, some with other late night friends or early risers. Some we enjoyed in complete silence. Others while he shared his political views, observations about the art or activities he'd enjoyed (or not enjoyed -- some of his opinions being extremely strong in either direction), aliens, disreputable governments, and his love of the desert. Mostly I listened. His, was the kind of passion and enthusiasm that required attention; he was a wonderful storyteller. One time in particular, someone was snoring very loudly and he motioned to me with his hand to come listen. He said, "That's exhaustion. That's the sound of a good day!" Then, smiled this wicked smile and darted off into the darkness. He returned a little while later and we boiled some water for tea and sat with our mugs while our campmate sawed logs. He kept snickering periodically. And I never really knew what he thought was so funny. I don't think it was the snoring itself. More an appreciation of the surreal and the absurd surrounding us. The strange quarters we'd made that were part luxury; part austerity. Other private thoughts. I liked how close and yet how impenetrable his mind seemed. A factory with many floors and many workings, full of keen intellect, wonder and mischief. As a young person, those were meaningful attributes in an ally and a teacher. After our tea, I ducked into my tent to saw some logs of my own. He stayed up until the next person rose. And I heard them start to talk. It was a wonderful cycle of companionship and conversation. I am very grateful that I was invited to his recent birthday event. And got to see him and see that smile full of delightful teeth and share one more dance floor. Most of all, to see him celebrated for the unique and wonderful person he was. We'll all miss him very much.
Benjamin Becker from Santa FE NM. wrote on December 23, 2017 at 3:07 pm:
MHO was a very fun man & kind man.I would like to hope for his spirit to travel through the Bardo with all haste and hope.
Maria Gibbs (Cousin) wrote on December 23, 2017 at 4:51 am:
I am so sad to hear about Michael. I just recieved a lovely note from his mom, telling me he was not well. She said that he was hoping to make it to Wisconsin after Christmas. My heart breaks for her. Michael was really special to my mom and we grew up hearing little stories of the time she spent with him. My mom loved children and wasn't married yet when Michael was small and she loved looking after him when your mom needed a babysitter. As for me, I was in awe of my older cousins. I always felt special if they paid us attention. Michael especially had an incredibly beautiful smile. One Christmas, when we were invited to your house on Reid Drive, Michael talked to me about music. I was a sponge, and already at 11 years old, had a desire to expand my musical influences. He showed me a new album and he played it for me on the big stereo in your upper living room. It was "John Wesley Harding" by Bob Dylan. I was blown away and I like to think that was the moment my musical universe expanded at light speed; and still is on that trajectory. He also bought me a year's subscription to Rolling Stone magazine that year and have never forgotten the impact of that influence on a young mind. (Not sure Hunter S.Thompson was appropriate reading material for an 11 year old, but I was so grateful).

11-10-2017