Longtime Dayton Company and Family’s Legacy of Giving Back

Thomas E. and Thomas J. Becker When John A. Becker started Dayton’s first electric supply house in 1920, little did he know the course he was charting for future generations of his family. First passed down to his son, Thomas E. Becker, and then to his grandson, Thomas J. Becker, Becker Electric Supply currently is celebrating its 94th year.

But the Becker family business isn’t the only tradition being passed down through the generations. Giving back also is an integral part of their legacy. In 1984, with shares of company stock, Thomas E. Becker established the John A. Becker Electric Company Family Fund through The Dayton Foundation, in honor of his father. Since its inception, the fund has distributed more than $547,000 to nonprofit organizations.

Recalls Thomas J. Becker, current CEO of Becker Electric Supply, “After my dad passed away, I found a handwritten scripture note written from my grandfather to my father. It was Luke 6:38: ‘Give, and it will be given unto you.’ I believe my grandfather instilled this in my father, as he tried to instill it in us.”

When Thomas E. Becker passed away in 2007, Thomas J. Becker and his siblings established the Tom and Marianne Becker Family Fund through the Foundation to honor their parents’ memories. Marianne Becker was a longtime volunteer at Miami Valley Hospital. Thomas E. Becker was president of Becker Electric Supply from 1960 to 1995 and was an active community volunteer in his own right.

Much of the family’s giving has been focused on faith-based programs and the desire to support those beliefs. Among the many causes that have been supported by the John A. Becker Electric Company Family Fund is the Second Chance Program, a service offered by Project Hope. The program helps convicted felons rehabilitate and find work at Good Samaritan Hospital, while offering them spiritual guidance and support. Participants must attend meetings for a year in order to apply for employment at the hospital.

“Project Hope and Second Chance are an incredible ministry here in Dayton. They serve the disenfranchised and give them a faith-based head start back into society,” Mr. Becker said. “They do an outstanding job mentoring these individuals.”

Donyea McCall, a reformed felon, is thankful for grants like those from the Becker Electric Company Family Fund to Project Hope. He credits Second Chance for changing his life.

“When I got out of prison, I couldn’t get a job,” said Mr. McCall, now an environmental technician for Good Samaritan Hospital. “When I heard about Project Hope’s Second Chance Program, I started attending the meetings and have been going ever since. It taught me how to live a good, clean life.”

Tom Becker sees his father’s hand in this work and is passionate about carrying on his family’s legacy.

“In a quiet sort of way, my father trained us to give back through our Dayton Foundation fund, by showing us how the Becker Electric Company Family Fund has invested in community projects he wanted to get behind,” he said. “And as our family has been blessed over the years, we were taught always to put something back into our community.

“Dad strongly believed that what you give always comes back to you. We've tried to share this with our children as well,” he continued. “Thanks to our Dayton Foundation funds, our charitable legacy will live on for future generations.”

For recent news and updates about The Dayton Foundation, read our press releases online.

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File date: 9.20.14


John Edgar

“Towards the end of Cindy’s life, she asked me, ‘After I’m gone, what will there be to say that I was here?’ Establishing this fund was her way to continue reaching out and touching children’s lives, as she did throughout her lifetime.” – John Edgar, donor, on the Remar Family and John and Cindy Edgar Endowment Fund

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