Medical 05

Aaron Smith Becker

May 23, 1981 ~ April 17, 2022 (age 40)

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Aaron Smith Becker was born May 23 1981, in Madison, WI the son of Kenneth August Becker and Donna Smith Becker.  He was married to Jacob Richardson on July 19, 2020.

After Aaron was born he was in a fight for his life, undergoing surgery when he was one month old.  He and his parents, learned to live with the inevitable fact that he would need a liver transplant one day.

Since sports were out of the question, he found other ways to keep busy. He had a huge Lego collection. He was active in Boy Scouts, earning his Eagle Scout rank in 1997 and attended the Boy Scout National Jamboree and International Jamborees in Holland in 1995 and in Chile in 1999. Aaron attended Space Camp one summer, and also played cello in the high school orchestra which toured Europe in 1998.

He graduated from Buffalo Grove High School in 2000. He then went to college for two years at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Aaron had been added to a waiting list for a liver the month he left for college. In between his college years and the time of his liver transplant in 2006, he spent much time in and out of the hospital fighting to get a liver transplant, often traveling to the hospital to find that he was a runner-up in process of evaluation. The Beckers’ finally had to try for a living donor transplant. At least six people were extensively tested for donor eligibility, and Ken and Donna thank all who volunteered.

Ultimately, the donation came from a friend, David Jedeikin, who graciously offered part of his liver so Aaron could continue life for another 16 years. No words can suffice in thanking David.

But, with the miracle of a transplant came the condition of suppressed immunity and thus vulnerability to common illnesses. Covid19 was a cruel burden on many people, but especially those with suppressed immunity, like Aaron, who were in a special fight to avoid the illness and to survive.

After his transplant, Aaron continued his education and became a RN, BSN and was finishing his masters in nursing.  Prior to Covid 19,  Aaron was working at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Aaron’s area of specialty was rehabilitation care of stroke patients.

Aaron married James Haenes in 2015. They parted and he married Jacob Richardson July 19, 2020.

Aaron and Jacob Moved from Chicago to Columbia, MO in December 2021. Aaron died on April 17, 2022 at the University of Missouri Medical Center. 

A private celebration of life was held at the home of his uncle David (Ginger) Smith Holts Summit, Missouri. At his remembrance celebration speakers included Rev. Fran Clare Schnarre, Justin Papreck, Adam Reinhardt, Jim Campbell, Kate Webbink and David Jedeikin.



In lieu of flowers, the family requests those who wish to express sympathy to
consider making a charitable gift in Aaron’s name to support
UW Health Kid’s Transplant Program. Donations can be made online to the:
University of Wisconsin Foundation at
OR Please make checks payable to:
American Family Children’s Hospital
Memo: In Memory of Aaron Becker
Checks can be mailed to:
UW Foundation
U.S. Bank Lockbox 78807
Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807

Howard Brown Health
Supporting Howard Brown Health provides comprehensive health and wellness programs to the LGBTQ+ community,
their families, and allies. Howard Brown believes that affirming healthcare in the LGBTQ+ community ensures access
to competent medical providers in a confidential and supportive environment. Your support of our mission inspires our
delivery of cutting-edge services to more than 40,000 patients and clients each year
Online, please check the box for "Make this donation in someone’s honor or memory” and fill in with Aaron S Becker.
OR by Check payable to Howard Brown Health Memo : In Memory of Aaron S Becker
To send a check - send to: Howard Brown Health, PO Box 13500, Chicago, IL 60613

Northwestern Memorial Foundation
This is the hospital that did the liver transplant for Aaron. You can give by phone at 833-443-8663 or by
check to Northwestern Memorial Foundation 541 North Fairbanks Court, Suite 800 Chicago, IL 60611
with a memo: For transplant – memory Aaron S Becker
Online: please direct gift to transplant in memory of Aaron S Becker


If you would rather, just send us the check using the name of the charity to:

Kenneth and Donna Becker, 1303 Shady Bank Ln, Columbia, MO 65201 

Jake Richardson, 701 Rutland Dr., Columbia, MO 65203 

Thank you, Jake, Ken and Donna

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Aaron Smith Becker, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Aaron Smith Becker
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