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Ron Becker ’64

December 18, 2022, in Newport, Rhode Island.

Ron was born in Rochester, New York, and grew up in Los Angeles. At Reed, he wrote his thesis, “An Examination of the Properties of the Dominant Characteristic Value of a Non-Negative Square Matrix,” advised by Prof. Burrowes Hunt [math 1953–77].

When Ron decided he didn’t want to become an academic, an uncle in the insurance business directed him to a job as an actuary. Ron worked briefly for Occidental Life in Los Angeles before moving to Boston. A member of the Society of Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries, he ended his career with Metropolitan Life after the merger of the two companies. While he was at New England Life, he met his wife, Johanna, who was also an actuary at the company.

After retiring, Ron moved to Newport, where he served as copresident and treasurer of the Alliance for a Livable Newport and as a member of the city’s Trust and Investment Commission. He supported the Edward King House senior center, helping to start its Circle of Scholars program, and was cofacilitator of its international current events course. Ron was a member of the Boston branch of the International Wine & Food Society and a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Johanna, his daughter, Jessica Cooperman, and his sister, Ilene Cohen.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2023

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