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Vicki Catherine Decker

1938 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Vicki Catherine Decker Obituary
Vicki Catherine Decker

Vicki Catherine Decker passed from this life in the early morning of August 1, 2018 from complications of cholangiocarcinoma in her liver, with loved ones beside her at her home in Bothell, at the age of 79.

Born on Sept. 15, 1938 in Portland, Ore. to Robert A. Whearty and Maudie E. (Mackintosh) Whearty, raised by her mother and father Floyd R. Swartz in Seattle, she also spent some early years in Spokane. Vicki was an alumna of Roosevelt High School, class of 1956. Vicki and Richard L. Decker married in Santa Rosa, Calif., raised three children, residing briefly in Eureka and then moving back to Seattle in 1966. She went to work in the late 1960s at Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery assisting families in selecting burial plots and memorial markers. While her higher education began at Santa Rosa Jr. College, she resumed as a night student while employed, with an expanded household in the Shoreline area of four kids' friends who became like children to her and Dick.

Vicki's education, work and service to others continued throughout her life and into retirement. She received her chemical dependency studies certification from Seattle University, a bachelor's degree in psychology and counseling from Antioch University and studied for her masters degree in applied behavioral sciences at City University. Vicki entered her field at CareUnit Hospital of Kirkland in 1984, as a drug and alcohol counselor and spent time as an administrator at facilities in other states. She was an employee assistance program manger at Security Pacific Bank, for Island County and later with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon. Her professional life included other employers and a period of private consulting. She owned and operated an espresso truck for a time, while living in Redmond. Vicki was certified also as a mental health counselor and worked in the special offender unit at the prison in Monroe, from where she retired in May 2008.

Vicki was an artist always, studying in Seattle with mentor Lisel Salzer, showing her work more recently through the Bothell Senior Center. Her love of world travel began in 1989 with a stay in Sri Lanka while her cousin was in the Peace Corps and included numerous trips to India sometimes with her grandchildren, a scuba diving expedition in Borneo with her brother Tom, a trek alone through Thailand. Her last trip was to Spain and Morocco with dear friends from India. She embraced learning through self-awareness and human potential workshops and groups, connecting with the Seattle Church of Religious Science in the early 1980s, drawn to the philosophy that the one universal spirit of a loving God manifests in and through all persons, all creation. Vicki was an admirer of the inclusivity of the Bahai Faith.

She volunteered her time as chair and board member of the Hollyhills Homeowner's Association and as an advocate and speaker with Healthcare For All Washington. Vicki spent the past several years as a landlord, dedicated to providing apartments for men recently released from prison who otherwise would have a tough time securing housing. Vicki's legacy is her compassion for other humans, including those who are most marginalized.

She is survived by her brother and housemate Tom Swartz, Bothell; half-brother, John W. Whearty, Portland, Ore.; former husband Dick Decker and his wife Georgie Decker, Shoreline; children Scott Decker and wife Diane Decker, Beaufort, South Carolina; Sharyn Decker, Chehalis; Cathy Decker and husband Tim Cameron, Shoreline; foster children Duane Cheng, Aloha, Ore.; Laurie James, Bonita Springs, Florida; Leanne Donaldson, Redmond; grandchildren Jillian McCleary, Laveta, Colorado; Jacqueline Carver; Vanessa Carver, Shoreline; Nick Olsen, Everett; Samantha Burklow, Marysville; great-grandson Aden Kiehne; half-siblings Robert A. Whearty Jr., Albuquerque New Mexico and Kathleen H. Whearty McGee; numerous cousins, nephews, nieces, neighbors and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and foster child Brent Tucker.

Memorial service will be Saturday August 18 at 1:00 p.m. at Evergreen-Washelli Funeral Home, 11111 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle, with reception to follow. After that, all are welcome and encouraged to join in celebrating Vicki's life at her and Tom's home at 19209 Hollyhills Dr. NE, Bothell.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations or support to Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Northwest.
Published in The Seattle Times on Aug. 12, 2018
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