James Stephen Becker, a Christian man, career radio disc jockey, husband, father and friend, passed away Saturday, June 13, 2020 in Hastings, Nebraska. "Jim" was 66 years old, born in Oak Park, Illinois on December 1, 1953, the only child of the late James F & Sybil (Hansen) Becker. Jim's parents had met at the University of Michigan during World War II and married in 1944.
When Jim was a toddler, his father took a job in the Bay Area as an electrical engineer. Sybil and Jim came west via Route 66 and joined James in San Carlos, California. Jim's dad passed away from in 1957. His Mom remarried and Jim would spend his youth in the Bay Area, Seattle, and finally Sacramento, where he graduated from Rio Americano High School in 1971.
While education was expected in the Becker family, Jim's passion was for radio. He was able to satisfy both endeavors. He attended at Western Washington University, University of Washington, and later Eastern Washington University, where he graduated in 1979. Jim also spent summer breaks in Yuba City, where he got his break in the radio business. He chased radio jobs and also worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Western Oregon. It was there, where he met his first wife, Trina. They married and had two sons, Willie James in 1977, and Benjamin Stephen in 1983.
As Jim became more successful in the radio business, his career took him to many radio markets. They included Eugene OR, Denver CO, Cedar Rapids IA, San Francisco, Stockton CA, and finally Sacramento, CA. He married his second wife, Tomi in 1988 in Bodega Bay, California. Jim used his time in Sacramento to obtain a masters degree in special education. Jim and Tomi remained in the Sacramento area for over 20 years. They were members of St Andrew's Lutheran Church, where Jim served as an elder.
In 2009, Jim & Tomi retired to Hastings, Nebraska. A small mid-west town where they were active in the community and enjoyed their time together there. He always was a sucker for a stray cat and cared deeply for animals. Jim was a "rail buff" and passed that passion to his oldest son, who has worked as a railroad engineer for 23 years. Jim placed a high emphasis on education, and his younger son Ben has carried that torch, working as a teacher in Oregon. He was very interested in American history, he was a student of astronomy, and he enjoyed watching Football. Jim was a fantastic writer, and passionate about his beliefs. He was always good for a road trip and loved listening to the radio.
Jim Becker was preceded in death by his father James in 1957; and his mother Sybil in 2011. He is survived by his loving wife Tomi; son Willie (Vanessa) of Elk Grove CA, son Benjamin (Linda) of Bend OR; step-daughter Shelly (Alan) of Roseville CA, step-sister Phyllis (Ed) of La Crescenta CA, step-sister Patricia of Memphis TN, and was preceded in death by step-father Weldon Batty, and step-father Staley Brown.
Jim has 4 grandchildren: Carson, Owen, Tori, Ethan, and a grand baby on the way. Jim is also survived by his great-aunt Marge (William) of Downers Grove IL, cousins Barb Becker of Westmont IL, Steve (Joy) of Downers Grove IL, Nancy Davis, Donald Missey, Andrew Missey, Kenneth Missey, and John Missey.
Jim had numerous friendships with locals in Hastings, former radio business colleagues, and classmates from his school days. Jim was well respected as a radio personality for his 5 decade career. He possessed a vast knowledge of music and the chart hits he played for so many years. Jim will be remembered for his loyalty, his dry sense of humor, and his strong faith in God. He courageously battled cancer 3 times and died peacefully in hospice care.
Jim is now in heaven, free of pain, and with his parents. He is most likely catching up with the dad he never knew, and the Becker family that went before him.
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