James Anthony Becker, 75, passed away on Sunday, October 20, 2019 at Hope Health Hulitar Hospice Center, Providence.
Born February 22, 1944 in Providence, James was the son of the late William and Mildred (Case) Becker. James graduated from West Warwick’s John F. Deering High School in 1962, attended Providence College and joined the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era. He later graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in music and went on to teach music and perform musically throughout Rhode Island. James was a violinist first, but he easily taught himself to play multiple instruments, including the bass fiddle and bass guitar. In the mid-1960’s, he toured the U.S. with Chubby Checker, playing bass in the back-up band.
Over the years, James performed with the Rhode Island Youth Philharmonic, the Army Band and later with the Ocean State Pops Orchestra. He was always proud to be a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served in the Army Band. In his later years, James could be heard playing violin in multiple churches throughout Rhode Island. He also played the fiddler in several local productions of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
James is survived by his loving siblings, Suzan E. Campagna, Janice B. Place (Philip) and William Becker Jr., Ruth V. Iavarone and David J. Becker. James also leaves many beloved nieces, nephews, grand- and great-grandnieces and -nephews.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, October 24 from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. in Urquhart-Murphy Funeral Home, 800 Greenwich Ave., Warwick, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Francis of Assisi Church, 596 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick. Burial with military honors will follow in Pawtuxet Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, a Veterans Service Center, 1010 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, RI 02919. For information and guest book visit www.murphyfuneralhomes.org.