Phillip G. Becker

Published 5:35 pm Monday, March 15, 2021

Mr. Phillip G. Becker, age 89, a former resident of Durham, died Thursday, March 11, 2021 at Edgecombe Health and Rehab Center in Tarboro after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

No services will be held at this time.  

Mr. Becker was born on January 2, 1932 and served in the U.S. Army.  He graduated from the University of Connecticut and received his master’s degree from Columbia University. Mr. Becker worked as a librarian in New York City.  After moving to North Carolina, he worked as a radio announcer, and a copy editor writing radio ads.  

Mr. Becker loved music. While living in the Durham area, he was a member of the Durham Savoyards.   Phil was a musicologist, and he wrote a radio drama solving the riddle of Elgar’s Enigma Variations.  

In 1988, Mr. Becker married Jean (Johnson) Spearman, who survives.

Surviving with his wife are his son, Nils Becker of Kentucky, and stepsons, Rev. Stephen Herring and his wife, Cathy of Tarboro, and David W. Herring and wife Patty of Minneapolis.  His grandchildren are Peter Herring of Tarboro and Julia Herring of Minneapolis.  

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to your local Hospice agency.  

Online condolences may be offered to the family by visiting

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory in Washington is honored to serve the Becker family.