Mary Jane Becker
Education: Dominican High School; Bachelors of Education at Loyola University
Family: Husband, John; children Jay, 44; Betsy, 41; Brian, 43; eight grandchildren
Mentors: All my high school teachers, college friend Olga Rome, fellow activist Blanche Comiskey
Mary Jane Becker’s ringtone is the resounding chime of church bells – fitting for someone who attends Catholic Mass everyday.
Good friends of the late Archbishop Philip Hannan and devout community activists, she and her husband, John, have made it their mission to donate both their time and efforts to helping the less fortunate in the community.
When she’s not working at her job as a bookkeeper, Becker serves as co-chair of Willowwoods Community, a Catholic-affiliated organization that, among other things, helps provide affordable housing and assisted living for the elderly.
Becker sits on the board of Dominican High School and the Girl Scouts Louisiana East, where she is a past president. Each month, she prepares and serves meals for more than 200 homeless people who come through the doors at St. Joseph’s Rebuild in New Orleans.
Share with us one of your school memories. Each school day, I would walk to Carrollton Avenue and catch the streetcar – for seven cents – and take it to Dominican High School. Life was pretty simple then.
Why are you such an active volunteer? Don’t you think we’re all called to do that? You do have to have patience and have to like to work with people. Very few people who accomplish something will say they did it without the help of others.
Tell me what you love about New Orleans? I love the culture, the people, the food and the life that we have here. This city knows how to celebrate everything – especially life.
Do you have a favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. It is my favorite time to see my children and grandchildren and there is no exchanging gifts.
You are very active on the Girl Scouts Council, but were you ever a Girl Scout? I wanted to be one, but we didn’t have a troop nearby. I was a troop leader with Betsy, my daughter. I think it’s wonderful training for girls. It teaches girls to be independent and think freely and also how to get along with others.
What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie? I love the Thin Mints. It's a good thing they don’t sell them all year-round.
iBERIABANK is proud to present a series of profiles featuring entrepreneurs, volunteer activists and artists whose work is making a difference. As iBERIABANK continues to make significant investments in our community, this special feature focuses on a few individuals who are doing the same.
While we can not include everyone who is inspiring change and worthy of recognition, we are proud to highlight a select few who give tirelessly to our community with their time, energy and passion.