Dolores “Dee” Becker, founder of Delaware Right to Life and co-founder and vice president of the National March for Life, died on April 13, 2020 at age 93. Mrs. Becker was a champion for the pro-life cause, a mentor and inspiration to many of today’s leaders in the movement.
Her quest started in 1969 when she opposed the overturning of Delaware’s abortion laws, at which point she decided to dedicate her life to the pro-life cause. In 1973, she helped to found the National March for Life which holds its annual event in Washington, D.C. every year near the anniversary of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision of January 22, 1973. At the same time, she founded Delaware Right to Life and later, the Delaware Pro-Life Coalition, both of which organizations continue her mission to restore the rights of the unborn through education and outreach.
Born and raised in Reading, Pa., Mrs. Becker was an outgoing actress and radio personality in her hometown where she met and married her husband, Richard Becker. The two later settled in Wilmington and raised seven children. From her kitchen table were launched many of her pro-life ideas and where many gathered in the early days.
Her greatest skill – communication – allowed her to rally support and connect people in the pre-internet age. She was a tireless letter-writer and phone-caller, dogged in pursuit of her goal. One of her most notable accomplishments, which captured the attention of many on both sides of the abortion issue, was the funeral Mass and burial she arranged for 63 aborted babies found in dumpsters in Chicago and returned to Delaware in 1988. Hundreds attended the event in Wilmington, and the state police provided escort for the funeral cortege to Cathedral Cemetery, where they are buried.
Known for her feisty personality and refusal to take “no” for an answer, she was a presence to be reckoned with. She used that passion to host an annual convention, bringing together pro-life experts from around the country for an all-day educational session in Delaware, one of the first of its kind. Attendees from Delaware as well as surrounding states came to hear the latest information about the pro-life movement. She was a familiar lobbyist at Legislative Hall in Dover to advocate for the rights of the unborn. This took her as far as Cairo, Egypt during the International Conference on Population and Development, where she coordinated international communication on their behalf in 1995. She also attended the March for Life well into her 80’s, appearing on the dais every year, and promoting the cause with presidents, politicians, and religious leaders.
Above all, Mrs. Becker and her husband were devout Catholics, devoted to their faith and family. She was a founding member of the Delaware chapter of both the Blue Army and Catholics United for the Faith. She received the prestigious designation of Dame Commander in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Wilmington Diocese. Her faith drove her dedication to the cause of the unborn and all those innocent, vulnerable persons threatened by the culture of death. She will be missed and mourned by many.
Interment will be private due to the coronavirus pandemic. Friends and family will be invited to celebrate Dee’s remarkable life later in the summer. Online condolences may be made by visiting (www.paganofuneralhome.com). A livestreaming of Mrs. Becker’s graveside service at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine will take place Saturday, April 18, at 11 a.m. through the funeral home website above.