following obituary appeared in the Charleston
Martha Jane Becker, 88, of Logan,
died Friday, July 15, 2005, at her home. Mrs.
Becker, President of the Logan Broadcasting
Corporation, was preceded in death by her
husband, William P. "Bill" Becker. Mrs.
Becker is survived by her daughters, the
Honorable Jane P. Delbridge of Alexandria, Va.,
and Beverly A. Bivins of Charlottesville, Va.
Born August 2, 1916, in Bluefield,
W.Va., to Ben and Mabel Shaner Williams, Mrs.
Becker was a graduate of Beaver High School and
West Virginia University, where she was a member
of the Debating Society and the Delta Gamma
Sorority. She worked for WHIS Radio in Bluefield
as a copywriter and salesperson from 1937 to
1939, and for ZIV advertising agency in
Cincinnati from 1939 to 1940. Mrs. Becker came to
Logan for the first time in 1940 and worked for
WLOG Radio and the Logan Banner as an account
executive. She taught English and speech at
Bramwell (WV) High School from 1940 until her
marriage to William Pritchard Becker of Bramwell
in August 1944. Mr. and Mrs. Becker returned to
Logan in 1950. She became Commercial Manager of
WVOW Radio in 1954 and was named President of
Logan Broadcasting Corporation in 1995, following
the death of her husband.
Mrs. Becker was the author of Mountain
Roots Branching Out, Diary of a Millionaire Coal
Town, and co-author of the History of West
Virginia Broadcasting. She wrote numerous
programs for radio broadcast, including the King
Koal series in 1940, and the "Togs 'n
Teens" show broadcast live from the Jack and
Jill Shop in the early 1950's. She was the
"Storybook Lady," the host for many
years of "Magic Moments of Fashion at
McCormick's," and she wrote a column for
three years in the Logan Banner "Shopping
the Town with Martha Jane." Mrs. Becker was
also a close associate of Santa Claus and
"The Christmas Fairy" on WVOW radio for
almost 50 years.
She was active in Logan County civic
associations, serving as president of the Logan
County League of Women Voters, Logan Woman's
Club, and Logan County Chamber of Commerce. She
was a past regent of the Daughters of the
American Revolution, Princess Aracoma Chapter.
She was a past member of the Board of Directors
of Logan County PRIDE, Inc. Community Action
Program. In 1962, Mrs. Becker co-authored a Logan
County "Community Achievement Report"
which won a $10,000 national award from the
General Federated Women's Clubs. In a1986, the
West Virginia Broadcasters awarded Mrs. Becker
the "Mel Burka Distinguished Broadcaster
Award." In 1996, she received the
"Distinguished Service Award" from the
Logan County Chamber of Commerce.
In 1952, Mrs. Becker was publicity
director for the original "Aracoma
Story" outdoor drama in conjunction with
Logan's Bicentennial celebration. She was
instrumental in reviving "The Aracoma
Story" in 1976 in the Chief Logan State Park
and served on its Board of Directors for many
Always interested in the theater,
Becker was an organizer and director of the
Bluefield (WV) Little Theatre, a member of the
Cincinnati (Ohio) Players, and a charter member
of the Logan Community Players, acting in and
directing numerous productions. She was the first
Logan County Belle.
In 1997, Mrs. Becker was instrumental
in forming the Logan County Charitable and
Educational Foundation, of which she served as
President until April 2005.
In addition to her daughters, Mrs.
Becker is survived by her sons-in-law, Wilfred R.
Delbridge, and Julian M. Bivins Jr.; five
grandsons, Theodore R. Delbridge, M.D., Thomas C.
Delbridge, Geoffrey A. Delbridge, Cary M.
Delbridge and William Ryan Delbridge; and five
great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her
sister, Mrs. Barbara Lilly of Bluefield, W.Va.;
sisters-in-law, Mrs. Margaret Ann Boyer of
Woodstock, Va., and Mrs. Newton Roberts Jr. of
Concord, N.C.; brothers-in-law, Creighton D.
Lilly of Bluefield, W.Va., and Frank McDermott of
Midlothian, Va.; and nine nieces and nephews and
Funeral services were held at 11
a.m. Wednesday, July 20, 2005, at the First
Presbyterian Church of Logan. The Rev. Lee
McDermott officiated. Friends called
from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19, 2005, at
Honaker funeral Home in Logan, and one hour prior
to services at the church. In lieu of flowers,
memorial contributions were requested to be made to the Logan
County Charitable & Educational Foundation,
PO Box 1367, Logan, WV 25601.
Pallbearers were Cary Matthew
Delbridge, William Ryan Delbridge, Theodore
Richard Delbridge, Geoffrey Adam Delbridge, Frank
McDermott Jr., and Stuart C. Lilly.
Honorary pallbearers were E.J.
Wood, Edward Eiland, Willie Akers, George Kostas,
Vernon P. Ferrell, Bill Sheridan, Larry Bevins,
and Bob Weisner.
MORE INFO. ON MARTHA JANE BECKER
BILL BECKER - HUSBAND OF MARTHA JANE BECKER