Montana Gale Decker, 60, of Great Falls, wife of Steve Theisen; mother of Kendall and Brandon; daughter of Glenn and Kathy; and big sister to Bill died of complications of pneumonia Tuesday, April 2, at a local hospital.
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Montana never had a bad word or evil thought; she was the definition of goodness, attitude and strength. Anyone fortunate enough to meet her was her friend. Montana enjoyed life to its fullest.
Montana was born Sept. 3, 1952, at Ft. Belvoir, Va., where her father was serving in the Army during the Korean War. Montana then lived in Bozeman, Corpus Christie, Texas; and the Republic of Suriname, South America, where she began her schooling. She then moved to Great Falls for a short time, then on to Butte, where she was a proud Bulldog and learned to ski at Discovery Basin and water ski at Georgetown Lake. From Butte, her family's travels took her to Nairobi, Kenya, where, at the age of 15, she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and stood on the top of the African continent with her father.
After leaving Kenya, she spent time on her grandparent's farm in Waynesburg, Pa., tending to the chickens, hogs and peacocks.
Montana graduated from Lake Park High in Medina, Ill., in 1971. She then returned to Great Falls for a short time. Her next adventure was to Salt Lake City, where she skied at Snowbird during the day and served spaghetti at night. Next stop was schooling at the University of Montana where she learned to hang glide off Mount Sentinel. Back to Great Falls again where she began working for the USDA Forest Service. She worked at the Augusta Ranger Station; Belt Creek Ranger Station and the Great Falls supervisor office. While working at the Belt Creek Ranger Station, she and Steve built a home on Sun Mountain. While working for the Forest Service, she attended the College of Great Falls and graduated with a degree in computer sciences.
Montana met Steve at Showdown in 1978 where she was employed assembling the chairs for the new triple chair. They were married in April 1980.
Montana is survived by her husband, Steve; son Brandon; parents Glenn and Kathy Decker; brother Bill (Linda); 12 nephews and nieces, including Jesse and Lucas Decker. She also had many special friends, Sandra Croff; Brenda Weiler; Jane Ottenheimer; Jennifer Sowers; Glenda Scott; Kipp and Debbie Kazda; the Beacon Ice House family; and her Showdown friends.
She was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Kendall Decker Theisen; grandparents C.A. and Phyllis Decker and Jesse and Lucy Pitcock.
Memorials are suggested to the Multiple Sclerosis Assn. of America or Eagle Mount of Great Falls.
A celebration of life is 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Black Eagle Community Center, 2331 Smelter Ave. NE, Black Eagle. Schnider Funeral Home handled arrangements.
Published in Great Falls Tribune from Apr. 5 to Apr. 9, 2013