Peter Joseph Decker NORFOLK - Peter Joseph Decker, 88, went to be with the Lord Jan. 29, 2010. A lifelong Norfolk native, he was the son of Lebanese immigrants, Joseph Michael Decker and Mary Zoby Decker. Peter graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1939 and attended The College of William and Mary, Norfolk Campus, as World War II began. At St. Mary's he met the love of his life, his wife for 62 years, Irene N. Decker. After her passing in 2005, his love for her only grew stronger. Peter was an Army veteran of World War II, a soldier in the Second Armored Division. Peter saw battle in three major campaigns, first in North Africa, then onward to Sicily, and eventually into Italy. He was part of the "Greatest Generation" and was proud to have served. After returning from Europe, he began a long career in his father's scrap metal business, Joe M. Decker Co. Inc. Working with his brothers and sisters, the family business was a fixture in Norfolk for many decades. Peter was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He deeply loved his family, faith and country. He coached baseball for many years, teaching kids the right way to play the sport and live their lives. Peter was a devout Catholic, attending daily Mass for many years until his health worsened. He was also proud of his Lebanese heritage and his large extended family in the region. He was a charter member of St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Virginia Beach, member of the Knights of Columbus 9056, Sons and Daughters of Lebanon, Moose Lodge 39, VFW Post 4809, Military Order of the Cootie, Elks Lodge 38, and past vice- president of Norfolk Olympia Baseball. Peter was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 62 years, Irene N. Decker; sisters, Rose Decker, Fannie Decker, Geneva Decker of Norfolk; and brothers, Thomas Decker, William Decker and Monroe Decker of Norfolk. Left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Donna D. Rowland and husband Bob of Virginia Beach; sons, Joseph M. Decker of Virginia Beach, Stephen E. Decker and wife Dianne, Christopher B. Decker of Norfolk; grandchildren, Jennifer Pruitt, Jesica Decker, Peter Decker of Virginia Beach, Gloria Decker of Moyock, N.C., Theresa Riggs and Christine Decker of Norfolk; great- grandchildren, Farrah Decker, Shea Decker, Jackson Pruitt and Conner Stiehl. A Mass of the Resurrection will be held at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, conducted by Father Mario Fulgenzi, OSB. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Kellum Funeral Home, Rosewood Chapel. You may offer condolences and visit Mr. Decker's memorial at www.mem.com.
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Published in The Virginian Pilot on Feb. 1, 2010