Saturday, March 1, 2008
(Ruth Becker in an interview)
Ruth Elizabeth Becker was born on October 29, 1899 in Guntur, India. Her father (Allen Oliver Becker) and mother (Nellie E. Baungardner) were both missionaries to India. The Beckers had two more children Marion (born in December of 1907) and Richard (born in June of 1910.
Richard soon got an illness in late 1911 and the doctors said that the only way to find a cure was to go to America. Allen immediately booked passage for his family on the TITANIC in 2nd class. Allen planned on joining them the following year after his missionary work was done. They were in room F-2 and before the sailing, the 2nd class passengers were aloud to see the 1st class rooms as Ruth Becker recalled. After the iceberg struck, the Becker family was woken up by their room steward at 11:40 P.M. told "We've had a little accident. They're going to fix it, and then we'll be on our way." Mrs. Becker realized that the situation was more serious than the steward was telling them, Mrs. Becker took the children on the deck and Richard and Marion were put into the boat and when the officer said "That's all the passengers for this boat", Mrs. Becker had a fit and begged until the officer finally let her go with her children. Then upon seeing that Ruth was still on deck, she cried "Ruth get into another boat!". She later was thrown into boat No. 13 by officer Moody. The family was reunited on the Carpathia. As they were leaving the Carpathia, Mrs. Becker was surrounded by news reporters and she said "Ask my daughter!".
They later came to Benton Harbor Michigan where Richard was cured and Allen joined them in 1913. Ruth later graduated in Ohio and married a fellow student. Ruth never spoke about her experience on the TITANIC during a certain amount of time. She didn't even tell her children when they were young. She divorced after 23 years and became a teacher. Gradually, she started appearing at TITANIC conventions and interviews. She took a cruise in 1990 to Mexico. It was the first time since 1912 that she had been at sea. She died later that year at the age of 90.