Paul Edward Becker

Chelsea, Michigan

At age 95, died Thursday, February 14, 2019 at Silver Maples. He was born January 1, 1924 in Chicago, IL, the son of Arthur E Becker and Harriet (Smith) Becker Kinkead.

Born and raised in Chicago, Paul was always motivated to learn, to serve, and to grow spiritually.  He did so much for Calumet High School that the school initiated a “service” letter just for him.  Paul attended the University of Chicago for two years before entering the Army Air Corps, where he became a 2nd Lieutenant instructor, flying many sorts of planes, from single air engines to B-29s.

After his military service, Paul sold books for a publishing house to libraries and campuses throughout the midwest, before settling to work at R.R. Donnelley and Sons in Chicago for nearly 25 years, and subsequently, McCall Printing, in New York City and Dayton, Ohio, and Providence Gravure printing in Providence, Rhode Island.  After completing his own masters’ degree at University of Chicago, Paul also served as a Junior Achievement instructor and taught night school courses.  In the printing industry, he was instrumental in automating payroll on early punch card machines, finding and implementing efficiencies, and working with a design team at MIT to patent color separation processes that automated rotogravure printing in the 1980s.   

After retirement, Paul traveled around the world with Semester at Sea. Shortly after moving to Chelsea, Paul served as the president of the Adult Learning Institute. 

Paul’s interests included classical music, history, politics, philosophy, and religion.  He appreciated craftsmanship and relaxed with architectural drawing and small fix-it projects at home.  He loved animals of all kinds, but especially dogs, from those of his grandparents to those of his grandchildren.  Paul was a religious seeker, an active member of the First Baptist Church in America and served on the board of the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island.

On August 5, 1950 Paul married Violet A. Escarraz.  She preceded him in death on October 16, 2011. 

He is survived by their sons, Dr. Carl B. (Akiko Ochiai) Becker of Kyoto, Japan; Glen C. (Joan Boisseau) Boisseau Becker of Harmony, FL; and daughter, Diane Lehman (Dwight) Wilson, of Ann Arbor; three grandchildren: Rebecca, Jacob (Jennifer) and Benjamin Lehman; four step-grandsons:  Kai, Rai (Nykia) Wilson, Tai (Shannon) Spann-Ryan, and Mai Spann-Wilson; two great-grandsons, Jack and Joshua Wilson, two great-granddaughters, Alanna and Nzinga Spann-Ryan and several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by a very special friend whom he loved, Nancy Meyers.

A Memorial service will take place March 2, at 3 p.m. from Silver Maples of Chelsea with Rev. Jeff Crowder officiating.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Faith in Action, 603 S. Main St., Chelsea, MI 48118 or the scholarship fund at Silver Maples of Chelsea. 

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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