LEON R. VAN BECELAERE
Leon Van Becelaere, 75, of Prairie Village, KS passed away peacefully on October 3rd, 2023, in the company of his wife. Visitation will be from 10 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. Monday, October 16th at Muehlebach Funeral Care, 6800 Troost Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64131. A brief service will follow where people may speak if they choose. Inurnment will follow for family and close friends.In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the American Stroke Association.
Leon was born January 17, 1948, the son of George and Betty (Charlotte Wilcox) Van Becelaere, in Kansas City, Missouri. He grew up in the Santa Fe Hills neighborhood graduating from Christ the King Parish School in 1962 and Rockhurst High School in1966. In 1970 he married his high school sweetheart, Mary Muder. Together they had two children. He received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri in 1971 and began working for the Missouri Highway Department. In midlife, he worked with engineering firms in the Kansas City area and on occasion lectured at local schools. While working, he earned his master’s degree from the University of Kansas and spent many evenings coaching his children’s teams. Later in life he met and married his last love Eileen Tipton, spending the bulk of their retirement together in Nashville, Tennessee. His hobbies included gardening, woodworking and puzzles of any kind. Leon loved the outdoors and, in the evening, could often be found enjoying the sunset or a ball game with a cold beer.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister JoAnn Schmelzel, nephew Trevor Tarwater and daughter Bernadette (lost at birth). He is survived by his wife Eileen Tipton of Overland Park, KS, two children, son, Matthew Van Becelaere (Kathleen) of Prairie Village, KS; and daughter Monica Spiehs (John) of Overland Park, KS; six grandchildren, Dillon Simmons, James Simmons, Patrick Simmons (Lindsey), Lillian Spiehs, Samuel Spiehs and William Spiehs; sisters Teresa Toone and Georgia Ann Tarwater, brothers Jim Van Becelaere (Debra Kramer), John Van Becelaere (Linda) and Paul Van Becelaere (Maureen), brother-in-law Paul Schmelzel and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the many caregivers in the Nashville and Kansas City metro areas who have provided care and comfort and helped our loved one enjoy his last six months.