CLEVELAND - Robert Roy Becker—known to his friends, family, and fans simply as “Bob Becker”-- passed away peacefully on April 12, 2021, at Maplewood at Cuyahoga Falls, after a 9 1/2 year journey with Alzheimer’s. He was 67.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents William F. and Maxine Becker, and his brother William E. Becker.
Bob is survived by his wife Luanne Bole-Becker, children Christopher Becker and Bryan Becker (wife Erin Kane), grandchild Lillian Maxine Becker, sister Judith Smith (husband Earl), sister-in-law Fiona Becker, brothers-in-law Lawrence Bole (wife Anita Vento) and Leonard Bole (wife Jeanne), along with many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, close friends, and compassionate caregivers.
Bob excelled in many areas of broadcasting, employed continuously in his hometown for 38 years. He was definitely a class act. In an often cutthroat industry, he followed a different approach that valued integrity, humor, civility, and a genuine care for others. Bob was respected and liked by colleagues and listeners alike.
Even as a youth, Bob experimented with broadcasting, launching a makeshift radio station from his childhood home. He overcame a natural shyness to entertain thousands of listeners in an easygoing manner. His love and knowledge of radio also led him to embody a variety of characters and voices.
Bob worked in radio, TV, and film as a deejay, writer, reporter, news director, producer, and on-air talent for such notable Cleveland stations as WGAR, WWWE, WTAM, WERE, WHK, WMMS, M105, WNCR, WKYC, and WVIZ, and was a host with the Ohio Lottery for more than two decades. He accumulated Emmy, Telly, and Silver Apple awards, as well as repeated recognition from the Cleveland Press Club and Cleveland Radio-TV Council.
As dedicated and talented as Bob was in broadcasting, his family was always his first love. He met Luanne Bole at the Cleveland State University radio station, part of a lifelong group of friends that led the station in the mid-seventies. Bob and Luanne forged a unique team from 1974 until his death, celebrating a 43-year marriage and 20-year video production partnership. Bob was an enthusiastic and hands-on dad to their two boys, Christopher and Bryan. He loved them deeply.
Bob was a deeply religious man in his quiet, steady way. He attended Gethsemane Lutheran Church (Lakewood) all his life—a church his parents initially helped shape and that he would eventually help lead for years. He attended Lakewood Lutheran School and Lutheran High School West, as did both his sons. He and his wife Luanne championed a variety of Lutheran ministries in many ways, including in their video work together.
After being diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s at age 58 in 2012, Bob continued to impact and improve others’ lives with his help, optimism, and openness. As part of an amazing group of couples that all shared the dementia diagnosis, and an inspiring crew at the Farrell Foundation, he and Luanne did their best to enjoy life to the fullest.Bob’s smile disarmed and charmed us all.
A private memorial worship service is being planned for this summer at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Lakewood OH and will be available afterward online. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to: Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation for Brain Health, Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter, Hospice of Western Reserve Summit and Cuyahoga Counties, and Gethsemane Lutheran Church.
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