Katrina Hickox Becker 1931-2019
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
AIKEN - Katrina Hickox Becker, 88, widow of Charles Becker, died peacefully in her home, Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
A native of New York City, Katrina was a daughter of the late Charles V. and Catherine Barker Hickox. She graduated from the Chapin School, Foxcroft School, and Bennett College. Katrina married William L. Matheson in November of 1952; they divorced in 1969. She married Charles Becker in May of 1979, and they remained married until his death in 1999.
She moved to Aiken from Charleston, SC in 1986. Katrina Hickox Becker was the owner of Katydid Farm and of Oakmeade, the landmark Winter Colony home designed by Julian Peabody for Devereux Milburn. An accomplished equestrienne, Katrina was involved in almost every aspect of the equestrian world. Her accomplishments during her career are too numerous to itemize, from horse show trophies and ribbons early in life to numerous winning racehorses starting in 1973, and driving championships won by her ponies in this millennium.
Katrina loved her horses and dogs. Her patience and love for them was an important part of her horsemanship. Someone remarked upon it by exclaiming that if she died she "would like to come back as one of Katrina's horses". Although she was modest about the steadily accumulating evidence of her racing and driving accomplishments, Katrina was very proud of the CDE event she founded with Jennifer Matheson at her Katydid Farm.
She enjoyed carrying on her family tradition of hosting large parties on the 4th of July and New Year's Day.
Survivors include three daughters: Katherine Matheson, Alline Matheson, and Thornton Matheson; a son: William L. Matheson, Jr. (Victoria Reardon); seven grandchildren: Dr. Amanda Matheson, William L. Matheson III, Evan Matheson, Natalie Kaplan, Shiloh Kaplan, Elizabeth Toepler, and Roman Toepler; a sister: Sarane Hickox Ross; and a brother: Charles C. Hickox. In addition to her parents and husband, Katrina was preceded in death by a brother, John Barker Hickox.
She is lovingly remembered by Jennifer Matheson. Katrina's intelligence and remarkable range of interests made her fascinating company. She honed her knowledge of the arts, horticulture and history throughout her lifetime. The preservation of open land and sustaining of nature reserves were passionate causes.
She demonstrated her commitment to the Aiken community and beyond by supporting innovative programs in those fields and many others. Katrina was a generous supporter of countless charities, both personally and through her family's Barker Welfare Foundation, and was a member of the Advisory Board for the United States Equestrian Team Foundation.