BETTY HANSON BECKER / 1920-2008
Isle activist strong but ‘sweet’
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Betty Hanson Becker became enmeshed in community activism during the Hawaii chapters of a globetrotting life with her newsman husband, Jim.
She worked at the state Legislature for more than 30 years in various positions, including clerk with the Senate Health Committee and aide to former legislators Vincent Yano, David Hagino, Joan Hayes, Sam Lee and Alex Santiago. She worked in movements to legalize abortion and to oppose development on Magic Island, and opposed overdevelopment in her neighborhood.
"She had strong views but was always so sweet about everything, I don't think she made anyone angry," said Helen Puhl, a former Hayes staffer. "We continued to get together and talk politics."
Becker, 87, died last Friday after a brief illness.
Born in Wabasha, Minn., she joined the Women's Army Corps during World War II. As a staff sergeant, she was secretary to the commanding general in the China-Burma-India theater, for which she was awarded a Bronze Star.
She and her husband lived in Japan, the Philippines and New York during his years as an Associated Press correspondent. They shared a love of baseball, opera, symphony, ballet and cultural arts.
She is survived by husband Jim and goddaughters Tina Escoda of New York, Carrie Brooks of San Francisco and Ming Roxas of Manila.
A celebration of life will be held 4 p.m. Wednesday at the American Association of University Women clubhouse, 1802 Keeaumoku St. The family requests no flowers. Memorial donations may be made to the Hawaii Opera Theatre, 987 Waimanu St., Honolulu 96814.