Donald Elmer Becker
Donald Elmer Becker, 88, passed away peacefully on Christmas Eve in Santa Barbara, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in St. Louis, MO to Elmer and Josephine Becker, Don assumed a leadership role in his household after the early death of his father. He followed his father’s career path into pharmacy, receiving his degree from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy at the age of 20, a year before he was old enough to practice as a pharmacist.
As an army pharmacist, Don was stationed in Berlin, Germany. It was there that he met his future wife, Doris Pannier.
Returning to the U.S., the young couple chose Santa Barbara as their new home in 1960. Don joined Cottage Hospital and then Thrifty Drug before opening his own business, La Cumbre Pharmacy, in 1968. He sold La Cumbre in 1979, but continued to work until his retirement in 2013, at age 80.
Don was a devoted family man and father of two. He and Doris built a swimming pool in their Goleta back yard which became a centerpiece of the neighborhood where many local children learned to swim.
Don was a dedicated supporter of Hillside House, a residential home for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and served on the organization’s board of directors for 50 years. He joined his wife Doris to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), specially trained volunteers who are court-appointed to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children within the court system.
Don was a man of many interests and hobbies. His passion for flying led him to pursue a private pilot’s license and the enjoyment of many jaunts with his family. Both avid travelers, he and Doris hop-scotched the globe in their retirement, along with visits to their children in Anchorage, Alaska and New York City.
In addition to coins, Don was a devoted collector of bad jokes and puns, and never shied away from sharing his finds with others. Those who knew him will remember his easy smile, gentle manner, and (corny) sense of humor.
Don is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Doris, son Andre (Ray) and daughter Renee’ Rudd (Curt). The family asks that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Don’s life do so by donating to Hillside House (hillsidesb.org/donate).