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Ormond Beach, FL: Thomas J. Decker, age 90, departed this life on November 5, 2013 after a courageous battle with numerous ailments. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Helen, who passed in 2000, and is survived by his son, David and daughter, Susan.
A noted television broadcaster, sports announcer and public relations specialist, Tom began his career in broadcasting as a regular staff announcer for the Buffalo Broadcasting Corp. while attending Canisius College in his hometown of Buffalo, NY. He joined the US Army at the height of the Second World War, serving in the 80th Infantry Division at the time of its mission to Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-45, and earned both a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Recalled to active duty during the Korean War, he was program director for 32 stations of the American Forces Network.
After a period with radio station WNEB in Worcester, Mass. and completing his degree in Radio Journalism at Syracuse University, he came to Rochester, NY in 1954. It is here where he rose to prominence both as the news anchor for television station WROC and as the play-by-play announcer for the Rochester Red Wings, the city's AAA baseball team. Tom was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 1993 and into the Rochester Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1995.
In 1975 he left the anchor desk of WROC to accept the position of corporate secretary and vice president of corporate relations for the National Safety Council in Chicago. As spokesman for the organization, he appeared on all four major networks, did radio spots, narrated safety films and emceed its annual conference. He also was responsible for all meeting arrangements for the Council's 85 members of its board of directors.
He retired in 1992, moving to Palm Coast, FL and then to Ormond Beach where he enjoyed an extremely active life employing his professional skills at community holiday gatherings, meetings and church services. A dynamic, engaging personality, Tom was deeply loved by his wide circle of friends and neighbors.
A visitation will be held on Friday, November 8th from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Craig Flagler Palms Funeral Home, 511 Old Kings Road in Flagler Beach. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, November 9th at 1:00 pm at St. Mary Church, 89 St. Mary Place, Bunnell, FL 32110. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary Church.
Condolences may be sent to www.craigflaglerpalms.com
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from Nov. 7 to Nov. 8, 2013
Craig Flagler Palms Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens
511 Old Kings Road S. Flagler Beach, FL 32136