Keith Mellen Decker
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TORRANCE, Calif. - Keith Mellen Decker, a 56-year resident of Torrance, California, passed away on Wednesday, October 12, 2011, in Woodland Hills, California. Born on January 31, 1920, in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, Keith was 91 when he died. Keith had served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a 1st Lieutenant, and led a platoon of light tanks, facing battle in Normandy and Central France. Keith attended Foxcroft Academy, where he played football and excelled in his studies, before enlisting in the Army. After the war, Keith served an apprentice ship at Fay-Scott Corp. in Dexter, Maine, in machine shop practices. After moving to California, he worked at Northrop Aircraft Corp., from 1954 - 1963; he worked at UCLA from 1963 - 1986, as superintendent of the Chemistry Research Machine Shop. Keith was an active member of the South Bay Camera Club for over 35 years; he was a prolific photographer and several of his nature photos adorn the walls of the Cherokee Nation community. Keith was a member of the American Legion and a founding sponsor of the National Museum of the United States Army. Keith enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, visiting his friends and relatives. He had a passion for woodworking, making clocks, birdhouses, and fixing anything that his family or friends needed help with. He built small houses for the neighbors' children, taught friends photography, and fed the birds that nested in his favorite tree in the center of his back yard. Keith is survived by his daughters, Stephanie Code and Diane Garretty, in California; and sons, Keith A. Decker of Riverside, CA, and Victor Hewett of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine; 3 sisters in Maine; and several grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Doriene (Tash) Decker; his daughter, Sandra Mae Decker; his son, Keith Duane Decker; and his parents, Everett and Gertrude Decker. Dad, you are missed by all of us. Our prayers are with you. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13, 2012