Arthur P. Becker, 86, an architect and real estate developer, died Nov. 13 of congestive heart failure at his home in Bethesda.
Mr. Becker was born in the Bronx, N.Y., where he graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School. He worked as a draftsman at the naval shipyard in Bayonne, N.J., during the day and attended New York University's School of Architecture and Allied Arts at night.
In June 1941, he became a draftsman with the architectural firm of Hollabird & Root and assisted in designing an Air Force installation in Jamaica, British West Indies.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor six months later, he returned to the United States and was employed as a draftsman in the Portsmouth, Va., shipyard.
He joined the Army Air Forces in 1944 and was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and then worked at Gravely Point, near what is now Reagan National Airport, where he was chief draftsman for the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey.
The survey was a report to President Harry S. Truman assessing damage to various types of structures in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After his discharge in 1946, Mr. Becker settled in Montgomery County, where in 1949 he co-founded the construction firm of Merrimack Engineering, known for its "Merrimack Rambler."
The firm developed many subdivisions, apartments and commercial projects in the area, including Bannockburn, Merrimack Park, Burning Tree Valley, Rollins Park Apartments, Congressional Towers Apartments and Topaz House, all in Montgomery.
He also developed Columbia Pike Plaza and Aspen House in Virginia. He and his partners contributed the land used for Montgomery College's Rockville campus.
He continued his real estate investment activities until his retirement in 1995.
Mr. Becker was one of the early members of the National Council of Architectural Boards, a member emeritus of the American Institute of Architects, a longtime member of Woodmont Country Club and past member of its board of governors and a member of the Washington Hebrew Congregation and Amity.
He also was a member of the Washington Suburban Homebuilders Association and Jewish War Veterans, a fellow of the Anti-Defamation League and a former board member of the Hebrew Home of Washington. He served on the board of directors of the Montgomery College Foundation, where he and his wife established the Miriam and Arthur Becker Scholarship Fund.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Miriam Goldspinner Becker of Portsmouth; five children, Phyllis Zimmerman of Baltimore, Kenneth Becker of Potomac, Marjory Becker-Lewin of New York, Richard Becker of Highland Park, Ill., and William Becker of Washington; a brother, David Becker of Potomac; 14 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.