Frederick Decker, Jr., of Groesbeck, passed away at Groesbeck LTC Nursing Home on Monday, March 28, 2022, at age 90.
Visitation will be on Thursday, March 31, 2022, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. prior to the funeral service.
Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 31, in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel, with Dr. Johnny Pearson of the Bethel Baptist Church of Groesbeck officiating. Burial will follow in Faulkenberry Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Tommy Decker, Jr., Aaron Neason, Trendall Noel, Kyler McClatchy, Jacob McClatchy, and Jake Lane.
Fred was born May 20, 1931, to Frederick Decker and Beatrice Lewis Decker in Elmira, New York, where he grew up.
After Fred met Alice, who was a young lady that was a friend of his family, he and Alice Jeanne Peters were united in marriage on September 2, 1951, in Elmira, NY.
They planned to move to California, traveling with friends, and after a few days there, they relocated to Arizona with plans to start a chicken farm. But instead, he went to work for Copper State Casket Company in Phoenix, where he made caskets. He and Alice raised their 5 children in Phoenix. Fred had never learned to drive, and the family walked everywhere, to work, to the store, and to the courthouse lawn for picnics. When he decided there were too many kids to continue walking everywhere, he ordered a car that was delivered to his house, and he taught himself to drive; and from then on, he would load them up and drive all over Arizona. They made many trips in the ’63 Rambler. He especially liked to go to model home shows, and then go home and work on his house.
Fred was a Christian and always active in church; he was a deacon in a Baptist Church in Arizona and also served as a youth minister. When he retired in 1977, they moved to Texas where his daughter and son-in-law were living. After they had visited her, they loved the Groesbeck area and bought property there. He raised cattle, pigs, goats and chickens and a garden at Horn Hill. He was a very good gardener and liked to share the produce. He also liked to bake cakes to share with the nursing home residents, for birthdays, Christmas, and other occasions and for church bake sales.
Fred worked as a custodian at the elementary school, and enjoyed dressing as Santa Claus at Christmas. Without his glasses, the kids he saw daily didn’t recognize that he was Santa. He worked part-time at the juvenile detention center while it was in the Courthouse when they needed someone. He would treat the kids with pizza when they behaved good. Fred really liked kids and would say “there was always good in the kids no matter how bad they had acted.”
Fred joined the Bethel Baptist Church of Groesbeck in 1995 and was active in church, but he always said the best way to be with God was to commune with him while working in the yard and garden. He would pray and sing hymns while working in his yard and garden and tending his roses. He had a natural green thumb and raised roses covering all his fences. In fact, when the kids were little, they were not allowed to pick the flowers or play in the front yard. But he dearly loved all his kids, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents; 7 siblings; son, Wayne Decker; daughter, Barbara Bennett and son-in-law, Robert Noel.
He is survived by his wife, Alice Jeanne Decker of Groesbeck; three children: Frederick Decker III of Groesbeck; Bonnie Noel of Groesbeck; and Tommy Decker of Groesbeck; daughter-in-law, Veria Decker of Waco; brother, Terry Decker of Elmira, NY and sister, Marie Decker of Elmira, NY. His 6 grandchildren are: Vickie Bennett of New York, James Bennett of Iowa, Jeanne and Rodney McClatchy of Teague, JR and Natasha Noel of Thornton, Tommy Decker, Jr. of Huntsville, and Allison Decker of Mexia. There are 7 great grandchildren: Haley Tinsley, Kyler McClatchy, Ashlee Tinsley, Jacob McClatchy, Roland McClatchy, Aaron Neason and Trendall Noel; and also 7 great-great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Groesbeck LTC for their kindness and compassion to our loved one during his time of need.