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Tribute to Paul Becker

by Ann Cagegs
Fri, Jul 24th 2020 05:00 pm

This past May, we were saddened by the passing of our Board President, Paul Becker Sr.  Paul, originally a parishoner of St. Mary of Sorrows parish, was instrumental in the preservation of the church, and thereafter, its transition to King Urban Life Center.  Paul's leadership and guidance over the past 30+ years was unparalled and tireless.  His impact will be felt for generations to come!

As we remember Paul, we thought we'd share a few of the numerous tributes and memories from our King Center volunteers and community... their words give testimonial to the generous spirit and lasting legacy Paul has left on the King Urban Life Center and WNY. 



Paul and Bob were lifelong friends from St.Mary of Sorrows, through all the years, through their families and chosen work and careers, through their focus on developing and growing the KULC for today's neighborhood and people, for the greater good of the whole Buffalo community.  Surely, Paul rests in God's peace and eternal reward; his was a life well-lived!

Bob and Mary Kresse


Paul was a valued leader within the local community and contributed his talents to the benefit of many organizations.  He will be dearly missed by many and his contributions will not be forgotten.

Adam J. Poole


Working with Paul was quite the treat. He had a way of calmly and peacefully guiding discussions, even around difficult topics. Personally, I had begun to look to him as a sort of mentor as I took on my first post as a committee chair. I was nervous and hesitant, but as is Paul’s way, he stripped off my own fears with a gentle smile and a “You got this, young man”.

Cody Clement-Sanders


Paul Becker was an inspiration to me as a friend and as our board President of the King Urban Life Center. His tireless spirit, dedication. warm smile, and kind words were never lacking. Having attended the former St. Mary of Sorrow's parish as a child (The King Urban Life Center) I was always amazed at the magnificence of the building but Paul had endless knowledge that he shared about his years as a parishioner, and the efforts that he and others made to save the historic church building. His sharing of stories and the history increased my appreciation not only for the building itself but those who built it so many decades ago. He imparted a passion for serving the neighborhood and the families that live(ed) in the surrounding neighborhood as well as maintaining the historic King Urban Life Center. I will carry his spirit and never give up attitude today and always. I will miss him dearly.

Mimi Kresse-Frederiksen


Paul's passion and commitment for service to others and the community taught me so much.  Paul's quiet but never-ending commitment to every aspect of the King Center, from clean up days, giving tours, he and his wife providing endless snacks and meals and holiday presents for the After School Program, to serving as Treasurer, on the Executive Committee, and eventually President of the Board of Directors of the King Urban Life Center, was constant over so many years.  The King Center would not be here if it wasn't for dedicated leaders like Paul.  So Paul, I want to say thank you for being a wonderful role model and for all that you've given to the King Center. 

Claire Kresse-White


I was honored to work with Paul on the board for many years and was always impressed by his gentle leadership and passionate commitment to the King Urban Life Center. I particularly enjoyed hearing about his connection to the Center and the neighborhood from his youth. He brought many friends and family members to the Center to support and educate as well, My prayers are with his family.

Emily Wyckoff


When I joined the King Urban Life Center Board, Paul welcomed me with open arms, literally. When I was first introduced to Paul I extended my hand for a hand shake and he opened his arms to hug me. As a self proclaimed hugger that meant so much to me. Paul always greeted me with a smile, a hug, and genuine interest in getting to know me. I will truly miss him and his amazing energy and his steadfast dedication in helping to push the mission of the King Urban Life Center forward. Thank you to the Becker family for sharing him with us.

Zeneta Everhart 


Paul was passionate and committed to the mission of the King Urban Life Center.  It was my pleasure meeting him and more importantly, watching him in action!!!

Terry Kazmierczak