Dr. Leslie E. Becker, Jr.February 3, 1923 ~ July 25, 2016 (age 93)
Dr. Leslie E. Becker, Jr.
Leslie Earle Becker Jr. MD passed away on Monday, July 25, 2016 peacefully in his home. Dr. Becker was born on February 3, 1923, in Acushnet Massachusetts to his parents, Nellie Frances (Occomy) Becker and Leslie Earl Becker, Sr… Moving to Harlem, New York at age 9. He was raised in the heart of the Harlem Renaissance, exposed to cultures of art and jazz.
Dr. Becker earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in New York, and then pursued his M.D. at Howard University medical school where he received his degree in 1946. Becker did a rotating internship at Sydenham Hospital in New Your City and a general surgery residency at the VA Hospital in Tuskegee Alabama. He began his career as a First Lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps, and was Chief of Urology at Fort Devens Army Hospital in Massachusetts, and VA Hospitals in South Dakota, and 12 years in Leavenworth, Kansas. He began his solo practice in Kansas City, Kansas in 1966, and was a part of one of the first African-American group practices in the Kansas City area. Dr. Becker was also the first African-American appointed to teach at the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine and was on staff on many other hospitals in the Kansas City metro area including Bethany and Providence Hospitals in Kansas City, Kansas and Truman Medical Center.
Becker’s love of jazz music and contributions to the Kansas City jazz community are well known. He was a strong advocate for many jazz artists; originator of Jazz Outreach, Kansas City’s biggest indoor jazz show and a benefit for Swope Health Services; and on the board of Mutual Musicians Foundation. He had his regular table at the Blue Room where many joined him to listen to stellar KC Jazz musicians. Becker was a member of the Alphas, Beta Lambda Chapter Service; Theta Boule; and the Midwesterners.
Becker lived for over 50 years in Kansas City, Kansas with his wife Toni. The support he offered his children and grandchildren is without measure, and he instilled his three principals of a strong work ethic, self-discipline, and love of education.
Dr. Becker was preceded in death by his son, Leslie Becker, III; his brother, Adolf Eric Becker; his sister, Nellie Becker Slaton; his wife, Peytonia (Toni) Agnes Jackson Becker; and his parents.
He is survived by his children, Toni Carpenter and her husband, Crawford; Clifford Becker and his wife, Zerita; Phyllis Becker and her husband, Mark Schroer; and Nia (Frances) Becker; his grandchildren, Neely McElroy and her husband, Terry; Stanford Carpenter; Jamal Gunn-Becker; Jadda Boarman; Carl Becker; Alexandra Becker; Daniel Hakiim Ricketts; Leah Jael Ricketts; and Derreko Ricketts; and great grandchildren, Jahmel Boarman; Sahara and Chad McElroy; Kira Carpenter; Kalaya Boarman; Stella Kruz Ricketts; Sailor Kruz Ricketts; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and long-time friends.
A Memorial Service will be held Friday August 5, 2016 at First Baptist Church, 500 Nebraska Avenue, KCKS, 66101, Visitation 9:00 – 11:00; Service 11:00 – 12:30. Burial will follow at Leavenworth National Cemetery, 150 Muncie Road, Leavenworth, KS, 66048 at 1:30. Condolences can be left online at http://www.thatcherfuneralhome.com/notices/DrLeslie-BeckerJr/services
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th St. KCMO 64108, Swope Health Services, 3801 Blue Parkway 64130.