Ray Elwood Decker

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Ray Elwood Decker

Ray "Elwood" Decker, 91, of Manila, passed from this life Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, at the Manila Nursing Center. He was born May 2, 1922, in Manila to the late James and Francis Dorsey Decker and had been a Manila resident for most of his life.

Elwood never met a stranger, he would give you the shirt off his back never expecting anything in return. He always put the needs of others before his own. Elwood began working on the family farm at the age of 4 and was taught the importance of an honest day's work. He would feed the chickens, water the animals, and do every job a young boy could do. A decorated U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he was the recipient of the Purple Heart in addition to other commendations. After returning home from the service he married the love of his life, Stella Marie Williams Decker, who preceded him in death Jan. 29, 2011, after 56 years of marriage. Elwood was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church in Manila.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by four brothers, Dalton, Glentis, Robert and George Decker, and three sisters, Gwen Richey, Ruth Dudley and his twin sister, Faye Patterson. He was the last of that generation.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Jackie and Robin Decker of Leachville; two daughters and sons-in-law, Judy and Gary Lamb of Monette and Brenda and Rick Bandy of Lake City. He also leaves his grandchildren, Jeff and Rebecca Bandy, Jennifer and Earnest Shirley, Chad Decker, Brandon and Stephanie Decker and Jeremy Lamb, and his great-grandchildren, Alex, Mallary and Aiden Shirley, Lauren, Raegan, Jaxton and Nash Decker.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Manila Nursing Center for going beyond the call of duty in caring for Elwood. Their love and kindness surpasses all other and will never be forgotten.

A private memorial service will be announced at a later date. Cremation arrangements are by Howard Funeral Service of Manila.

Guest register: www.howardfuneralservice.com