Martha Jane Becker (1916-2005)The following obituary appeared in the Charleston Gazette.

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 years.

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 their families.

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.