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Obituary Stories

Dedication to others more than a job

Jeff Himler
| Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

Charles Decker retired after more than half a century working for Northwestern Mutual Life and Financial Planning, but he didn't stop helping others.

“He was retired as far as the financial end, but he still was helping people,” keeping in touch with longtime clients, said his wife of 67 years, Cecilia. “He'd still sit at his desk and computer.

“He was a very good-hearted and kind person.”

He served in multiple roles at Our Lady of Grace Church — including Eucharistic minister, parish council member and Confraternity of Christian Doctrine teacher.

“Offer it up to God” was his favorite expression, his wife said.

Charles Henry Decker, 91, of Greensburg, died Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, at St. Anne Home. He was 91.

Born Feb. 3, 1926, in Unity Township, he was a son of the late Ralph and Elizabeth Decker.

A graduate of Greensburg Salem High School, Mr. Decker served in the U.S. Navy from Jan. 31, 1944, to April 29, 1946, touring the South Pacific aboard the USS Hilo. He graduated from Saint Vincent College in 1961, earned a Chartered Life Underwriter designation from Purdue University in 1966 and received a Life Underwriter Award in 1987.

Mr. Decker served on the boards of the Westmoreland Society for Crippled Children and Adults and of the Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children, which his son, Charles Jr. (Chip), attended.

Mr. Decker was a leader of Chip's Boy Scout troop at the school. “He became involved with all their activities,” including a week-long camping trip, his wife said.

He loved to attend football and hockey games and to be outdoors — gardening with Chip or appreciating local wildlife. “He liked the deer and the birds. He always fed them in winter,” his wife said.

Mr. Decker served on the Diocese of Greensburg Board and was president of the Westmoreland Association of Life Underwriters, a member of the Greensburg Elks and a past member of the Greensburg Rotary.

He received the Bishop Connare and Heart to Heart awards. He supported the Westmoreland Symphony, the Greensburg Art Club, the Sisters of Charity, Saint Vincent Seminary and the St. Benedict Foundation.

“I don't know how he did it all,” his wife said. “He was a phenomenal person.”

Mr. Decker was preceded in death by two sons, Todd and Charles Jr.

He is survived by his wife and daughter, Janice Decker, both of Greensburg, and several nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 N. Main St., Greensburg, Parting prayers will be at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday in the funeral home followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Grace Church.

Interment will be in the Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children, 135 Clelian Heights Lane, or Our Lady of Grace Church, 1011 Mt. Pleasant Road, both in Greensburg, PA 15601.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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