Rebecca McCaw, 72, ended her nearly three-year fight with pancreatic cancer on Thursday, June 3, 2021, having spent the day with those she loved the most, including her daughter and grandson.
Becky, as friends knew her, or Becca, as her family called her, was a special soul, filled with smiles and pure positivity for everyone and always wanting to help and serve. Animals and children loved her dearly, especially her cat, Chester, and her grandson, Parker. She found love five times, including in her final months, and stayed in close contact with all of her family until the end.
She was born on a farm near Milton on Dec. 13, 1948, and, as she frequently liked to point out, had four ornery brothers. As the older sister, it was always her job to take care of them, and taking care of other people's needs was perhaps her favorite thing to do.
She graduated as one of 22 people from Fox Valley High School in 1967 and later married her high school sweetheart, Charlie Bullock. Though that didn't work out in the long run, the union produced her daughter, Shari, who spoke with her on the phone at least three times a day. The two stayed as close as any mother and daughter can be.
After another long term relationship, Becky married Lyle Johnson, who died in 2006, and Clayle McCaw, who died in 2016. She maintained strong bonds with both families.
Becky worked for many years as a dietitian at WIC, helping struggling mothers provide nutritious food for their children until retiring in early 2019. Her empathy and sweet tone helped her connect with and help anyone. She was a dietitian to the core, always conscious of what she ate and rarely indulging in sweets. She loved going to conferences and bringing back cutting-edge nutrition information.
Becky was desperately proud of her gardens -- both her plants and her rocks. She always had huge plants, and among her rock collection were dozens of large geodes. She was always happy to explain the geology of them to anyone who showed an interest.
After she was diagnosed with cancer in November 2018, she went all out to fight for her health, exercising, cutting out sugars, drinking more green tea and eventually taking three trips to Mexico for a special treatment unavailable in the United States that had no side effects. She got progressively more healthy until COVID kept her from treatments for more than a year, but she continued to fight and put on her well-practiced brave face, and many people had no idea she was feeling any sickness until she died.
She is survived by her daughter, Shari (Jim) Ferolie, of Verona, Wisconsin, and grandson Parker Ferolie, special friend Dean Schnedler, as well as her mother, Nadine Trachsel of Milton, brothers Ben (Amy) Trachsel, Mike Trachsel, Tim (Debbie) Trachsel and Pat (Faith) Trachsel. She was preceded in death by two husbands and by her father, Russell Trachsel.
Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 11, 2021, at First Christian Church in Muscatine, with internment to follow at the Johnson family cemetery in Wilton. Visitation will be from noon until time of service Friday at the church.
Online condolences may be left at www.sandhfuneralservice.com. The Snyder & Hollenbaugh Funeral and Cremation Service of Muscatine is caring for the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to one of two charities -- a fund to help others get help at the clinic where she got cancer treatments or her church.
Warburg Way fund ATTN: Mark O'Hare
℅ American Goodwill Mission
4715 N. Maddux Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85704
First Christian Church
700 Kindler Ave.
Muscatine, IA 52761
To send flowers to Rebecca's family, please visit our floral store.