Lewis Becker, 78, of Villanova, a law professor at Villanova University for more than four decades, died Sunday, June 12, of complications from glioblastoma brain cancer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
He had been diagnosed in March, his family said.
Professor Becker joined what is now Villanova's Charles Widger School of Law in 1972, rose to professor in 1976, and retired in 2011 as an emeritus professor, although he kept teaching for several more years.
"Professor Becker left an indelible mark on the Law School community and the generations of students he educated and inspired," the school said in a tribute on its Facebook page. "He will be remembered fondly as a great friend, colleague, scholar, and teacher."
His scholarly interests centered on the intersection of family law and ethics, and over the years, he participated in many meetings and panel discussions on an array of related topics.
He contributed to books on child support and alimony, premarital and marital contracts, distribution of marital assets, and cohabitation agreements. His articles have been cited by the Supreme Courts of Arizona, Connecticut, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Before becoming a professor, he was an associate attorney at MacCoy, Evans & Lewis in Philadelphia, and Davis & Cox in New York City.
He was a member of the American Bar Association Family Law Section and chair of the committees on ethics, custody, and continuing legal education.
Born in Feltonville. Professor Becker graduated from Olney High School. He received a bachelor of science degree from Temple University in 1958 and a degree in 1961 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
In 1964, he married Marilyn Kasinetz. The two were married for 51 years. They had two children.
Professor Becker's favorite avocations were music and books. He was a regular in the Open Circle music group at the Mermaid Inn in Chestnut Hill for many years.
"Everybody sat around the room, and each singer-songwriter would play, and everybody would play along with them," his wife said. The group offered a supportive environment for budding performers.
He also was an avid collector of folk music and folklore books. His collection was so renowned that in 2006, the books were featured in an exhibition, "A Celebration of Traditional Music of Ireland and Elsewhere in Print," at Villanova's Falvey Memorial Library.
In March, Professor Becker donated many of his rare folklore and music books to the Haverford College Library.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Eve; a son, Joshua; and four grandchildren.
Services were Tuesday, June 14.
Memorial donations may be made to Har Zion Temple, 1500 Hagys Ford Rd., Penn Valley, Pa. 19072, or ABC2 via www.abc2.org to benefit brain cancer research.