Robert Joe "Bob" Decker, 78, of Maryville, Ill., born July 7, 1935, in Kalamazoo, Mich., passed away at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Ill.
Bob served in the U.S. Air Force as a photographer and later graduated from Michigan State University
where he met Beckie, his love and his wife of 50 years. Besides his wife, his other great love was their daughter, Susan. Bob spent most of his working life in various areas of the insurance industry, including the last 15 as assistant vice president for Loss Control of Hortica in Edwardsville, Ill. He was a past president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, a long time member of the Fire Protection Engineers and American Society of Safety Engineers, and a Certified Safety Professional. Bob also served on the Loss Control Committee of the Alliance of American Insurers and many task forces including Project Safe Georgia and Project Safe Texas. Bob was a frequent contributor to horticulture trade journals and authored a chapter of the Ohio Florists Pesticide Handbook.
After retirement Bob became active in Mother of Perpetual Help Catholic Church and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. Throughout his life, he also enjoyed working in the yard, woodworking and working on computer projects. Bob enjoyed languages and read widely in German and enjoyed studying and reading Dutch, Spanish, Russian and Japanese. Travel took Bob many places including all 50 states and with his wife, Beckie, he visited Russia, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Clara Elizabeth, nee Dykema, Decker; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Surviving are his wife, Rebecca "Beckie", nee Wagner, Decker, whom he married on Aug. 3, 1963; daughter, Susan Christine Decker of Aurora, Ohio; sister, Jo-Ann (Dennis) Alsgaard of Delray Beach, Fla.; niece, Kristin (Jeff) Jarvis of Perkinsville, Vt.; great-nephew, Nick Jarvis; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Memorials may be made to Mother of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. For condolences go to barrywilsonfuneralhome.com
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, at Barry Wilson Funeral Home, 2800 North Center Street, Maryville, Ill.
Funeral: Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at Mother of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 200 N. Lange, Maryville, Ill., with Father Joseph Havrilka celebrant. Graveside services will be held Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, at the Roseland Park Cemetery in Berkley, Mich.
BARRY WILSON FUNERAL HOME, Maryville, Ill.