Jacqueline R. Decker
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Born in Spur, Texas, to Jack and Floye Rector, Jacqueline Jean Rector Decker was known to her friends as "Jackie" and to her great-grandkids as "GG" and "Gamma". She passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 91 on January 1, 2020.
The oldest of three girls, Jackie was valedictorian of her high school class and met her husband Bob Decker on a blind date. While she graduated Southwest Texas State College in San Marcos with a major and teaching credential in Home Economics and a minor in science, Jackie committed her life not to her own career but to raising her three children and supporting her husband, who would go on to be a university president and a state senator in Minnesota. She was the consummate volunteer: lifetime board member of the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Minnesota State Board of Planned Parenthood, Minnesota Council of Churches, Church Women United in Minnesota, League of Women Voters, AAUW, and Gama Sigma Chi sorority, P.E.O., and a delegate to several World Methodist Conferences.
Jackie and Bob loved traveling, which included such adventures as wading in the Dead Sea, flying over the North Pole, watching Haley's Comet as they flew to Australia, and attending toga parties at Oxford University. After Bob's death from Alzheimer's in 1999, Jackie spoke of her "soul mate" and how much she missed him every day.
Jackie's later years were spent in California where she was a beloved member of Camarillo United Methodist Church where her daughter, Lynn, was choir director and her son- in-law, Dr. Jim Decker-Mahin, was senior minister. She especially loved singing in the church choir and having the occasional margarita with her friends.
Jackie was known for her love of sweets and her love of her "Ohana." As matriarch of this blended and extended family, she fostered their "togetherness" with her words and wisdom, and by also supporting a number of family vacations, most notably a 19-person family trip to Maui in 2015. In July of 2018, the Ohana gathered on Catalina to celebrate GG's 90th birthday.
Jackie is survived by her three children: David (Dr. Rebecca Ruth Clearman) Houston, Texas; Dr. Lynn Decker-Mahin, Camarillo; and Jack (Jennifer), Clear Lake, Iowa; 6 grandchildren (Leah, Michael, Kristie, Mark, Verena, Michelle), and 6 great-grandkids (O'Sinn, Ronan, Ella, Ava, Dylan, Eden); her church family and especially, her friends at Alma Via. A memorial service will be held Sunday, February 9, 3:00pm at the Camarillo United Methodist Church, 291 Anacapa Drive. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Alzheimer's Association, Planned Parenthood, Free Spirit Hospice of Simi Valley or the Music Endowment Fund of the Camarillo United Methodist Church.
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