Encyclopedia Titanica

Richard F. Becker

Master Richard Fulton Becker was born in Kondaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India on 26 June 1910.

He was the youngest child of Allen Oliver Becker (1872-1956), a Lutheran pastor originally from Michigan, and Nellie Elizabeth Baumgardner (1876-1961), a native of Ohio. His parents had married in Ohio on 20 September 1898 and shortly after settled in India where his father worked as a missionary. He had three siblings: Ruth Elizabeth (1899-1990), Luther Allen (1905-1907) and Marion Louise (1907-1944).

In early 1912 Richard became ill and upon the advice of physicians the family were encouraged to return to the USA where he had better chance of survival. He, his mother and sisters left his father behind in India. For their Atlantic crossing, the Beckers boarded the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as second class passengers (ticket number 230136 which cost £39).

On the night of the sinking Mrs Becker had gathered her three children and headed to the upper decks where they waited for a time in one of the public rooms before braving the cold out on the open deck, either A-deck promenade or the boat deck. Richard and his sister Marion were bundled into a lifeboat (number 11) by a crewman and followed by their anxious mother. His sister Ruth escaped in the following lifeboat, number 13.

Richard and the rest of his family survived the sinking and eventually made it to America.

Richard's father joined the rest of the family in America in 1913. By 1920 he was still living with his family, now in Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio. He later became a singer and in later life a social welfare worker. He was married in 1943 Eva Marie Anderson (b. 1912) and had a son, Richard Fulton (1938-2004). The 1940 census shows Richard and his family living in Jacksonville, Illinois. He was widowed in 1942 and was shortly remarried to Jessie Arline Armstrong (1912-1974) and had two daughters, Judith Anne (1943-2010, Mrs Joseph McDonough) Deborah Elizabeth (b. 1948, later Mrs David Ehrlich)

Richard, a widower twice over, died in Peoria, Illinois on 6 September 1975 aged 65 and was buried in Swan Lake Memory Gardens, Peoria.

References and Sources

Peoria Journal Star, September 7 1975, Obituary
State of Illinois Certificate of Death (#75049008)

Research Articles

Lutheran Woman’s Work (1912) Experiences of the Titanic disaster
Evocative account of the Titanic disaster by Mrs Becker

Newspaper Articles

Adams County News (20 April 1912) LOCAL INTEREST IN TITANIC LOSS
Cleveland Plain Dealer (20 April 1912) REMAINS IN HOPE HUSBAND IS SAVED
Gettysburg Complier (15 May 1912) Rescue of Mrs Becker
Peoria Journal Star (7 September 1975) RICHARD BECKER

Documents and Certificates

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Master Richard F. Becker
Age: 1 years 9 months and 19 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Last Residence: in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 230136, £39
Cabin No. F8
Rescued (boat 11)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Saturday 6th September 1975 aged 65 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Swan Lake Memory Gardens, Peoria, Illinois, United States

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