Charles Henry Decker, of Greensburg, departed this life, holding the hands of his wife and daughter, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. He was born Feb. 3, 1926, on the family farm in Unity Township. He liked to tell the story of how his Aunt Stella delivered him during a snowstorm. His parents were the late Ralph Cleveland Decker and Muriel Olive Dimond Decker. His father died when Charles was very young and he was raised by his grandfather, Luke Dimond, and Charles' mother. Charles was the youngest of three children, Robert Earl Decker (Lavene Womack) and Elizabeth Decker Powell (Robert Powell). He attended the Boyd School in Unity Township in the mid-1930s. In addition to his parents and siblings, Charles was predeceased by sons, Todd Edwin Decker and Charles Henry Decker Jr. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Cecilia Marheka Decker, and Janice Elaine Decker, Ph.D.; as well as his feline friends, Lady Dimond, Cashmere and Holly Golighty; and several nieces and nephews. Charles attended Greensburg Salem High School, where he was a member of the football team. In his yearbook, he was described as "dreamy fisherman." On Dec. 7, 1941, Charles was serving as a caddy at Mt. Odin Golf Course when the news of Pearl Harbor bombings arrived. Having enough credits to graduate high school, Charles enlisted in the Navy on Jan. 31, 1944. He toured the South Pacific on the USS Hilo. After returning from a tour in the Navy, he ran under the umbrella of a nurse walking home from Seton Hill College. Charles Decker and Cecilia Marhefka were married Sept. 7, 1950, at St. John's Church in Scottdale. Charles graduated from St. Vincent College with a bachelor's degree in 1961. Mr. Decker worked for more than 50 years for Northwestern Mutual Life and Financial Planning. He earned a Charter Life Underwriter (C.L.U.) from Purdue University in 1966. He served on Parish Council of Our Lady of Grace Church, as well as serving as a Eucharistic minister and coordinating Eucharistic minister schedules. Charles was always ready to lend a hand. His favorite expression was "Offer it up to God." Charles was just as active in the community as he was with his family. He served on the Board of Directors for Clelian Heights School, as well as the Rehabilitation Center and Workshop. He served as the president of the Westmoreland Association of Life Underwriters, as well as on the Board for the Westmoreland Society for Crippled Children and Adults. Charles was a member of the Diocese of Greensburg Board of Education for several terms. He supported the Westmoreland Symphony, the Greensburg Art Club, the Sisters of Charity, St. Vincent Seminary and the St. Benedict Foundation. Mr. Decker's most rewarding endeavor was serving as the Boy Scout Leader for Troop 413 with Frank Blazetic at Clelian Heights School. He was awarded a Life Underwriter Award in 1987, the Bishop Connare Award and the Heart to Heart Award in 2011 along with his wife. For his 82nd birthday, Charles received a proclamation from the U.S. Senate declaring him to have proven himself to be an outstanding citizen who exemplifies the finest virtues of American life. He won the respect of his family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances. Last but not least, he always fed the deer and birds in all weather. Family and friends will gather 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 to be celebrated at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Grace Church. Interment with full military honors accorded by the South Greensburg American Legion Post 981 will be held in the Greensburg Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Charles' name may be made to Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children, R.D. 9 Box 607, Clelian Height Lane, Greensburg, PA 15601, or Our Lady of Grace Church, 1011 Mt. Pleasant Road, Greensburg, PA 15601. For online condolences and information please visit www.kepplegraft.com.
Our Lady of Grace Parish
1001 Mt. Pleasant Road, Greensburg PA 15601
Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children
135 Clelian Heights Lane, Greensburg PA 15601