Ronald Thomas Becton, age 73, of Woodstock, GA passed to his heavenly eternal home on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital after a sudden illness.
Mr. Becton was born on May 31, 1950, in Anniston, AL, son of the late Paul and Annie Mae Becton. He was a graduate of Anniston High School, as well as Jacksonville State University, where he earned his B.S. and M.S. in Music Education, and was a member of the Marching Southerners, the Jazz Ensemble, and the Symphonic Band.
Ron was preceded in death by a son, Matthew Thomas Becton, a brother, Ed Becton, and three sisters, Helen Frost, Betty Richardson, and Janice Becton.
As a band director, Mr. Becton influenced the lives of many young students during his 34 years of teaching. His teaching career began at Bacon County Middle School in Alma, GA. He then taught at Plainview High School in Rainsville, Alabama, as well as Boaz High School in Boaz, Alabama, before returning to teach in Georgia in 1978. Mr. Becton served as the director of bands for 20 years at Chattooga High School in Summerville, GA. During his tenure at Chattooga High School, he was selected as STAR teacher and he met the love of his life and married his wife, Sandra. Ron and Sandra and their children, Bob, Stephanie, and Matthew then moved to Paulding County, GA to be closer to family, and he served as the director of bands at East Paulding High School until his retirement in 2007. While teaching at East Paulding High School, he had the pleasure of having all three of his children as students in his band program. His symphonic band was selected to perform at the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy State University, and he received the National Band Association Citation of Excellence Award.
One of his greatest joys was helping students excel on their instruments for placements in the District Honor Band, All-State Band, and the Governor's Honors Program, as well as helping students obtain college scholarships and appointments to the United States military. Mr. Becton always instilled a strong work ethic and never let students settle for less than their best, which was evident by the numerous superior accolades his bands received throughout his career.
In addition to his teaching accomplishments, Ron was a member of Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu, ASBDA, MENC, National Band Association, Georgia Music Educators Association, and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. He served his state music organization as both an officer and organizer of district and state events. He was also a member of the Georgia Music Selection Committee and an organizer for the Georgia High School All-State Band. He also served as an adjudicator in Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee, and Louisiana.
Since his retirement, Ron continued his love for music by playing trumpet in the Cobb New Horizons Band, as well as performing at churches throughout the community. He also continued mentoring colleagues and was known by many as a "walking encyclopedia of music knowledge". He especially enjoyed watching British detective dramas, historical documentaries and cheering on his favorite college football team, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Ron loved spending time with his family, especially his two grandsons, Colton, and Cooper, as well as keeping up with his friends and former students through phone calls and social media.
Most recently, he was selected as the recipient of the 2024 Georgia Music Educators Association Distinguished Career Award. Mr. Becton's legacy will live on through the countless lives he has touched throughout his remarkable career, and his departure has left a void in the lives of all who knew and loved him.
Ron is survived by his wife of 34 years, Sandra; son, Bob Worrall, and grand dog Angel; daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie and Tyler Zack and their sons, Colton, and Cooper; sister-in-law, Sheri Bailey; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ken, and Donna Adams; as well as several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends Wednesday, December 27, 2023, from 11:00am to 2:30pm at Clark Funeral Home and Chapel. A service for Ron will be Wednesday, December 27, 2023 with Rev. Don Rackley officiating. Eulogies will be given by Melvin Morgan and Robert Carter. Special music will be provided by pianist, Virginia Wheeler, and brass quintet to include Debbie Davies, Larry Greenwalt, Howard Hubler, Jerry Pollard, and Lydell Self. Interment will follow at Peaceful Meadows Memorial Cemetery in Dallas, Georgia. Pallbearers will be Derik Clackum, Jim Davis, Don Hall, Phil Min, Elden Moates, Tom Moore, Les Still, and Ray Webb.
Clark Funeral Home and Chapel is honored to care for the Becton family during this difficult time.