Lieutenant General Quinn H. Becker, (Retired.), 91, passed away on Sunday, March 13th, 2022 at his home in San Antonio, Texas.
He was born June 11th, 1930, in Kirksville, Missouri to Sarah Lucille Henderson and Quinn Henry Becker. Quinn Henry, a family doctor, passed away when Quinn was fourteen years old. His mother then moved the family to her childhood home in Monroe, Louisiana. Quinn worked to support his family, peddling newspapers on an old bicycle. He excelled academically in high school and enjoyed fixing bikes, motorcycles, and cars. He also liked welding, carpentry, art, and farming equipment, and these interests continued throughout his life.
Quinn attended Northeast Louisiana State College in Monroe, where he met and married his beautiful wife Gladys Marie Roussell. He enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and initially majored in agriculture. His science professor recognized his competence and guided him to change his major and pursue medicine. Quinn graduated from college in 1952, as a Distinguished Military Graduate. He was initially commissioned a Regular Army 2LT in the Military Police but deferred from active duty to attend Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans as the Army had a shortage of doctors.
Quinn graduated from LSU Medical School in 1956 and then completed his internship at Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii, followed by an Army sponsored orthopedic residency at Confederate Memorial Hospital, Shreveport, Louisiana.
LTG Becker served as an orthopedic surgeon at Fort Gordon, Georgia and Fort Rucker Alabama. In 1964, he moved to Heidelberg, Germany where he commanded the 5th Surgical Hospital (Mobile Army). Later he moved to Wurzburg, Germany as the 3rd Infantry Division Surgeon and then chief of orthopedic surgery at the 33rd Field Hospital.
After returning from Germany in 1967, LTG Becker served as the assistant chief of orthopedics at Walter Reed General Hospital.
Following completion of the Armed Forces Staff College in 1970, LTG Becker deployed to Vietnam. His initial assignment in Vietnam was chief of professional services at the 85th Evacuation Hospital. Later, LTG Becker was the division surgeon and commander of the 15th Medical Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division. Besides leading the medical battalion in Vietnam, he managed a fleet of medical evacuation helicopters and crews. This assignment began a close association with the DUSTOFF mission and battlefield medicine, resulting in lifelong friendships.
Following his return from Vietnam in 1971, LTG Becker was reassigned to Tripler Army Medical Center where he served as chief of orthopedics and the orthopedic residency training program.
After completing the US Army War College in 1975, LTG Becker and his family moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as the XVIII Airborne Corps Surgeon and concurrently commander of the Fort Bragg Medical Activity (Hospital). Not only was LTG Becker responsible for providing health care for soldiers, family members, and retirees at Fort Bragg, but he also supervised medical readiness of the XVIII Airborne Corps.
Upon being selected for Brigadier General, he worked for the Army Surgeon General in the Pentagon as the Director of Health Care Operations. In this senior leadership position, he worked on battlefield medicine readiness including funding, designing, and obtaining Deployable Medical Systems (DEPMEDS), upgrading medical evacuation helicopters, and coordinating health service support for Airland Battle.
Selected for his next command and his second star in 1980, LTG Becker commanded the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston, the largest allied health care training facility in the United States. He was responsible for training all the medical specialties in the Army, to include officer and NCO leadership training. Additionally, he was also responsible for developing doctrine for field medical units. He was instrumental in starting the Combat Casualty Care Course.
In 1983, during the Cold War period, LTG Becker was called to lead the 7th Medical Command in Europe, consisting of 11 large hospitals, 67 health and dental clinics, a Europe-wide aeromedical evacuation unit, and a plethora of other medical support services. Besides commanding a large and complex health care system for deployed military and their families, he concurrently served as the United States Army Europe Surgeon and the United States European Command Surgeon.
In 1985, LTG Becker was selected for his 3rd Star, and appointed as the 36th Army Surgeon General. As the Surgeon General, he oversaw the Army’s complex health care system worldwide. Working directly for the Army Chief of Staff, he was also responsible for the medical readiness of the force to support wartime and deployment missions. Some of his initiatives included establishing the Enlisted Advisory Council, which looked after the needs of enlisted soldiers, Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs), and their family members. LTG Becker became the first commander of the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Regiment. As one of the key founders of the regiment, the AMEDD Regiment organization exists today to instill pride and heritage to the many medical personnel that served.
Even after retiring from the Army in 1988, LTG Becker’s legacy of medical readiness was realized during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During this Gulf War, the field medicine work orchestrated by LTG Becker during the 1970s and 80s was instrumental in providing health service support to the deployed force. Following the war, retired LTG Becker, was personally called and thanked by Desert Storm Commander, General Norman Swartzkopf, for emphasizing medical readiness while on active duty. LTG Becker responded to General Swartzkopf, “Sir, it was a great team effort”.
LTG Becker, throughout his career, was known as a ‘field doctor” and for emphasizing “medical readiness” of the force, his legacy to the Army. He accomplished things throughout his entire life by building teams and creating personal bonds and relationships. He was respected because of his humility, sincerity, and kindness.
General Becker’s military education includes the Armed Forces Staff College, Flight Surgeon Course and the Army War College. Awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, 2 Bronze Stars, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal and others. He also earned the Combat Medical Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Senior Flight Badge.
Quinn was recognized by Who’s Who in America and recently inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Army’s aeromedical evacuation mission.
During his retirement years, LTG Becker continued to build and lead teams of people in whatever he did. Beyond his professional career, he contributed considerable time to public service, including President of the Civitan Club, fraternal member of Masons, and Fellow of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He was also a long-standing board member for nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospice.
Quinn and Marie enjoyed retirement together, traveling extensively, serving as Wagon Master and Tail Gunner on RV trips to Mexico and Alaska, square dancing across the country with his brother John and wife Alitia, and living, hiking, and skiing in Colorado. He was a ski leader on expert slopes and drove and maintained grooming machines on cross country trails. He and Marie went “Cat” and “Heli” Skiing with the “Over the Hill” Gang.
While residing at the Army Residence Community (ARC), Quinn served on the board of directors representing the residents. He also served as president of the ARC Golden Kiwanis, and as the Resident Council president for residents living independently at the ARC. He started the ramp construction program for disabled and handicapped individuals in the greater San Antonio area and carried it forward for many years.
Quinn enjoyed impressionistic art and photography. His photographs are on display throughout the ARC. He enjoyed remodeling homes and working on farm equipment and cars. He was an excellent “fix it man” and pilot.
Quinn was always supportive of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and others.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lucille Finley, and Quinn Henry Becker; wife, Gladys Marie Becker (Roussell); son, Quinn Edwinn Becker; and brother, John Raymond Becker. Quinn is survived by his daughter, Terri Kay Eubanks; son, Paul Eric Becker, and wife Gretchen Hanna; grandchildren, Ann Marie and Neil Kehrli, London Elaine Becker, and Quinn Daniel and Jillian Becker; and great-grandchildren, Brandon Neil Kehrli, Ashton Matthew Kehrli and Samuel Quinn Becker.
LTG Becker’s family is forever grateful to his faithful caretaker, Marie Ann Imperial, and her daughter Ally, and to the staff at the ARC and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
CELEBRATION OF LIFE Tuesday, 26 April 2022, 2:00 PM Army Residence Community Auditorium Interment will be a at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on Wednesday, 27 April 2022 at 1:00 PM.
LTG Becker was a generous benefactor of the Army Medical Department Museum. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the AMEDD Museum Foundation Capital Campaign Fund in memory of LTG Quinn Becker, 2210 Stanley Road, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234.