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Dr. Eric Baker Becker III

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Dr. Eric Baker Becker III Obituary
Dr. Eric Baker Becker III Dr. Eric Baker Becker III, age 80, surrounded by his family, died on Saturday, February 23, 2013, in Austin, Texas. Eric was born January 14, 1933, to Adelaide Goodenough Becker and Eric Baker Becker in Dallas, Texas. A graduate of Highland Park High School, Eric received his BS and MS degrees in Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Eric, professor emeritus in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin (yes, he was a rocket scientist), joined the U.T. faculty in 1966. In 1972, with Professor J.T. Oden, he established the Texas Institute for Computational Mechanics at the University. A much-admired professor, Eric earned the U.T. Graduate School Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1978. A pioneer in complex problem solving in civil and aeronautical engineering, Eric's work impacted a wide range of engineering and scientific fields ranging from fusion research, design of elastomeric components, tires, solid rocket motors, fracture mechanics, plasticity and viscoelasticity theory, scientific computing algorithms, mesh generation, and principles for software engineering. His textbook on finite elements, co-authored with two colleagues, remained the top text in the field for over two decades. His professional and academic achievements were many, and he was a lifelong supporter of University of Texas athletics. Eric was an enormous presence, gentle and soft-spoken, with unwavering devotion to his family, and most especially his wife Candy; with her artistic creations and sensibilities, they were a wonderful team. He was an intellectual well grounded by his avid interests in golf, poker, motorcycles and other manly pursuits. He was as humble as he was intellectually extraordinary. Eric is survived by his wife, Candy Gray Becker of Austin, his four children, Allison and her husband Ronnie Chapman of Austin, David Becker of Los Alamos, New Mexico, Margie Becker and husband Glenn Smith of Austin, Elizabeth Becker and husband John Van Ness of Austin, and stepdaughters: Margaret Lowry and husband Andy Bradshaw of Fort Worth and Mary Lowry of Corona del Mar, California; and his eight grandchildren: Jennifer Bailey, Katie Smith, Joseph Jury, Sara Chapman, Emily Becker, John Patrick Jury, Charles Bradshaw, James Bradshaw; and two great-grandchildren, Jaxon and Brenna Bailey. Memorial services for Eric B. Becker will be held on Wednesday, February 27, at 3:00 p.m., at All Saints Episcopal Church located at 209 W. 27th Street in Austin, Texas. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in the name of Dr. Eric B. Becker, to Friends of Alec, a non-profit that supports the University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering. 301 East Dean Keeton, C2104, Austin, TX, 78712-2100 http://www.engr.utexas.edu/friendsofalec/ giving. Obituary and guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Feb. 26 to Feb. 27, 2013
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