Obituary: Rebecca Jo Albers

Friday, January 6, 2023 - 3:00pm

Surrounded by family members, Rebecca Jo “Becky” (Ross) Albers, 70, died Dec. 20, 2022, at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, Va., after a sudden illness.

Becky was born Aug. 14, 1952, in Topeka, Kan., to Marjorie Jean “Marge” (Campbell) Ross and Stephen William “Steve” Ross Jr. She was the middle child, sandwiched between sister Stephanie Ross (a year older) and sister Jennifer Sue (Ross) Bealey (six years younger). The inseparable Ross Sisters were known to occasionally reenact the “Sisters” number from the movie “White Christmas” – at least until laughter made singing impossible.

Growing up the daughter of a career Air Force man, Becky moved from Kansas to Spain to Nebraska to Maryland, back to Nebraska, then to Virginia. She attended two different high schools: Surrattsville High school in Clinton, Md., and Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Neb., where she graduated. She attended three different colleges: Radford College in Virginia, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, Neb., and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. She earned a bachelor’s degree (journalism) at UNL and a master’s degree (journalism) at Northwestern.

Becky worked as a summer intern at The Omaha World-Herald, a reporter at The Fremont Tribune in Fremont, Neb., at the Boca Raton News in Florida, as a reporter and editor at The Miami Herald in Miami, Fla., for nearly 14 years and for nearly 17 years at the Newspaper Association of America in Virginia, where she rose to managing editor of NAA’s Presstime magazine, then became an NAA vice president. Late in her career, she worked for ManTech International Corporation, editing federal government contract proposals for national security programs. Becky retired in 2018.

On Oct. 27, 1979, Becky married Wesley Earl “Wes” Albers in Mead Chapel at First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Neb. Wes, too, was a University of Nebraska-Lincoln journalism graduate and a “military brat,” the son of a career Army man. Becky and Wes didn’t know each other in college, meeting instead at a party for Nebraska journalism grads working for Florida newspapers.

Becky and Wes have two sons, Ross Wesley Albers of Westminster, Md., and Reed Stephen Albers of Bristow, Va. Ross married Emily (Davis) Albers; they have three daughters: Tilly, Charlie and Gracie. Reed married Sharie (Reyes) Albers; they have two daughters: Kinleigh and Bellatrix. Becky had a way of making everyone feel like they were the center of her life, but she doted on her two sons and those five granddaughters!

Becky loved to travel, as did her husband Wes. Her reporting skills made her an excellent travel planner, and she could easily have made “travel agent” her life’s work! In 2022, she and Wes took a Caribbean cruise, visited Arizona to see Sedona and the Grand Canyon and took a three-week trip in October that included Milan and Lake Como in Italy and a Mediterranean cruise with ports in Italy, France and Spain. She was well into planning a trip to Alaska in 2023 for Wes’ 70th birthday, and four days before her death was up late booking sales-price shore excursions for a Holy Land cruise next fall.

Becky also loved dogs, particularly her son Reed’s dog Rodney, a Pomeranian. Denied her own dog by a husband with allergies and an aversion to pet duties, Becky found a measure of revenge in visiting the German shepherd, Labrador retrievers, Pomeranians and Pomskies that her sons and daughters-in-law welcomed into their homes!

Rebecca Jo Albers
Rebecca Jo Albers