Knoxville — Lloyd Becker, founder of Becker Roofing in Knoxville, fell off a roof on May 1 and is recovering in Lincoln, Neb. He had already retired at the time of his fall, and son, Gene, says the company is here to stay.
"He is slowly recovering," Gene said of his father. "He's going slow, but he's doing a little bit more every day."
Gene had been running Becker Roofing for a year before Lloyd's accident. Lloyd fell from a roof in the Whitebreast area, where he had stopped to talk to some fellow roofers.
Considered by some as the "godfather of roofing" for Marion County, given that he has trained multiple roofers in the area, Becker, 69, was not expected to make it, due to his age. Gene said Lloyd was in a coma for a month at Mercy Medical Center before being transferred to the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln. Gene said this is one of the best places in the country for Lloyd, or anyone else with traumatic brain injury, to receive treatment. These days, Gene has begun to recognize people who have come to visit him and is beginning to recall childhood memories.
"It's just killing me, not being out there with him," Gene said. "I've got to be here for the family." He's also got to be here for the family business.
Lloyd had run Becker Roofing for 54 years. Gene said the company did not skip a beat, even on the day of Lloyd's accident. It's been difficult for Gene to meet business and personal demands, but he says he is succeeding. Existing customers' needs are being met and the company continues to look for new ones.
Gene said he is striving to continue to meet the standards of quality and integrity that his father set for the business. The goal of any Becker Roofing job is to do it right, without cutting corners, he said. The reputation and hard work of his father are things he is trying to continue.
The hard work and lifestyle of his father are paying off today, as Gene believes these are the reasons for his father's ability to recover. Gene is hopeful that his father's recovery will continue, to a point that Lloyd can be transferred to a facility in Ankeny, much closer to home. Hearing people he knows is one of the best ways Lloyd's mind can recover, Gene said. As for the future, it is unknown whether or not Lloyd will be able to walk again.