by: Koya Perez
If you ask any student, staff or faculty member about Joseph Backer, you will get the biggest smile, and eyes filled with joy, as they ramble on about his kind heart and good humor. He was one of the kindest people you would come across on DSU’s campus. He always spoke positivity into the hearts of everyone who surrounded him.
Joseph Backer, who didn’t mind if the students called him Joe, was no stranger to the English Department and Mass Communications department at DSU. He began teaching at DSU as an adjunct professor in 2006. He always referred to the classroom as “our classroom” when speaking to the students. He was willing to be a teacher, and a friend.
Along with teaching at DSU, Mr. Backer previously worked as a sports writer and editor for the Dover Post and Smyrna Times under Gatehouse Media. He was also a journalist for the Middletown Transcript.
Mr. Backer’s work didn’t stop in Delaware. He was a reporter for Total Traffic and Weather in Philadelphia, PA, broadcasting to the millions of people listening to their radios in the evening in the tri-state area.
After a long battle with cancer, Mr. Backer passed away peacefully in his home in Wilmington, DE on January 31, 2016.
Dear friend, and Mass Communications secretary Christy Cale says to The Hornet “I appreciated Mr. Backer and regarded him as a beloved friend and coworker. He made the Mass Comm department shine and offered students wonderful advice and instructions…he almost always had a warm smile and greeted us all. We love you Joe and were blessed to have you in our lives.”
Another dear friend and secretary in the English Department Dawn Boardley had this to share with The Hornet: “Mr. Backer used to come sit and chat with me. He had coffee and treats, and we would just chat about our day. He was always so hopeful and optimistic. He always had faith.”
A viewing will be held on Friday, February 5, 2016 between 6 and 8 pm, and the funeral will take place on Saturday, February 6, 2016, 10 am at Mealey Funeral Home in Wilmington, DE.