2024-05-23 5:39 AM

Memorial Day 2024 Issue!

In Memoriam: Joslyn C. Becker

Joslyn C. Becker

Joslyn C. Becker died on July 22, 2022, at age 85, in Hospice in Fort Myers, Florida. Eda Joslyn Caldwell was born to Oliver and Eda Caldwell on August 9, 1936, on the little island of Kulangsu, Fukien Province, China.

Her father was a professor at Nanking University. Her mother was a recent graduate of Columbia University. Joslyn and her mother were evacuated from China at the beginning of hostilities with Japan. Joslyn, her mother, and her younger sister Gail spent the duration of the Second World War with the Holcombe grandparents in upstate New York, while her father served in China in the OSS. After the war, Joslyn’s father took a position with the US government, and the family moved to Falls Church, Virginia.
Here Joslyn met Eddie Becker, her husband to be, in 8th Grade Algebra. They dated while at George Mason High School.

After graduation in 1954, they went their separate ways, but kept in touch. Joslyn and Ed eloped and were married in Rockville, Maryland on August 1, 1959 (with full approval of their parents). The couple (together with Joslyn’s cat Carrabas) spent a study/honeymoon year in the Netherlands, learning the excitement of travel and exposure to new cultures. Returning to the U.S.A. in autumn 1960, they began a busy married life, first in Chicago where son Mark was born, then in Eastern Massachusetts, where daughter Sarah, and second son Evan (and more cats) joined the family. While keeping house, Joslyn took part in many civic activities, including the Lexington Garden Club, the Historical Society, and the annual ice skating show. As the children finished school, Joslyn went back to school herself. She was accepted at Wellesley College, from which she graduated with a degree in Art History in 1990, one of her proudest achievements.

Joslyn formed many friendships that lasted over the years. She enjoyed entertaining guests in her home, gardening, reading, travel, concerts, museums, and serious ballroom dancing. She loved outdoor activities, from swimming to skiing to walks in the country. For years she and Ed and the children enjoyed their “camp” on Merrymeeting Lake, in New Durham, NH. Joslyn was pleased to become a grandmother: first Orion, then Everett, and then Frankie. From an early age, Joslyn was imbued with high standards of integrity, honesty, and bravery. She defended her principles, and was impatient with fools and hypocrites. Joslyn passed on her values to the children, now adults, of whom she was very proud.

She was a modest but elegant lady When the unmistakable signs of Alzheimer’s came, Joslyn’s life turned inward. Her life and Ed’s became closer, more intertwined, more interdependent. She knew that something was wrong, but she never gave up. Slowly but steadily, she lost her independence and her memories, but not her selfhood. The end came quickly. Now she is free.

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