CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Sy Becker, our friend and longtime reporter here at 22News, has passed away after a short illness.
In a 60-year broadcast career, spanning radio, TV, and the internet, Sy Becker was well known for his boundless energy, his unmistakable voice, and of course, his movie reviews.
Sy Becker was always in his element when walking in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade, soaking up the cheers from thousands of his adoring fans. Whether it was marching in the parade, hosting the East Longmeadow Concert Series, or the Red Cross Hometown Heroes Celebration, he lived for moments like this.
Born in 1936 in the borough of Brooklyn, Sy attended the City College of New York and the School of Radio and Television. He started his broadcast career in radio with stops at stations in Chicopee, Asheville, North Carolina, and Dover, Delaware before spending 14 years at WSPR-AM in Springfield, where he was news director and an award-winning reporter. But it was right here on TV where Sy Becker became a household name.
He joined 22News in 1979 as a general assignment reporter and as a local theater and movie critic. He was like the Energizer Bunny, a dynamo in action with a style and delivery all his own.
Never one to shy from the spotlight, Sy starred in some memorable 22News promos. And then there was the time Sy went to Hollywood and came out looking like a new man. Sy was also our resident boxing maven, he followed the fights from Joe Louis to Tyson Fury.
In 2009, Sy issued his famous “Becker Bike Challenge” during our Toys for Tots campaign. When it was over, our studio was overflowing with bikes donated by our viewers, to give to kids for the holidays.
But Sy’s enduring legacy will always be his movie reviews. By his own count, Sy saw over 9,000 movies in his lifetime, some of them good and some of them bad, always judged by the Becker star system and his unforgettable signature close.
Sy finally retired this past Spring, finishing a career that won’t soon be forgotten by his friends here at 22News and his many fans in western Massachusetts. He was Sy Becker, with the booming voice, who was small in stature but larger than life.
Visitation hours will be on Saturday, October 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., followed by a service from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Forastiere Funeral Home located at 220 North Main St, East Longmeadow. In lieu of flowers, Sy’s family asks you to make a donation to Toys for Tots this holiday season.