Philip V. Becker, 77, News American editor


Philip V. "Buck" Becker, retired associate managing editor of the old News American, died of cancer Saturday at the home of a daughter. The Rodgers Forge resident was 77.

He retired from the newspaper in 1980, where he began his career in the mail room of what had been the Baltimore News-Post in 1933.

"He was an old-time newspaperman, the kind of guy who was always there," said William F. Stump, retired editorial page editor of the Hearst newspaper. "You got the feeling that he lived there. He could do any job and was an all-around inside newspaperman."

Mr. Stump described him as being "very stubborn from the point of view about getting out the paper," but a man of extreme patience and kindness who would never deliberately embarrass a new employee for making a mistake.

Margaret Ann Dickerson, a daughter who lives in Hagerstown, said, "I used to ask him if he could do anything in the world, what would it be, and he would say, 'I love my occupation and wouldn't want to do anything else.' "

Born in Baltimore and reared on University Place, he attended St. Ann's School and was a 1938 graduate of City College. He earned a law degree from the University of Baltimore but never practiced that profession.

During World War II, he was a medic with the Army Air Forces in New Guinea and the Philippines and was discharged in 1945.

He enjoyed golfing at Pine Ridge, reading and "being with his family," said Mrs. Dickerson.

His wife, the former Ann C. Foreman, who he married in 1941, died in 1982.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 11 a.m. today at St. Pius X. Roman Catholic Church, 6428 York Road.

Also surviving are a second daughter, Martha B. Wieber of Columbia; a sister, Genevieve Gorman of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice Services of Howard County, 5537 Twin Knolls Road, Suite 433, Columbia 21045.

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