Benner Anthony Decker

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Funeral services for Mr. Benner Anthony Decker, 85, of Spencer, will be held at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008, at Grace United Methodist Church of Spencer. Rev. Chuck Kellogg will officiate the service.

There will be no visitation.

A private burial will take place at Okoboji Cemetery in Arnolds Park at a later date.

Military services will be conducted by Glen Pederson Post No. 1 - American Legion of Spencer.

Benner passed away Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008, at Spencer Hospital.

Cremation has taken place under the direction of Warner Funeral Home of Spencer.

Ben was born Dec. 5, 1922, at his home in McLouth, Kansas, the son of Charles Russell and Ruth (Alexander) Decker. He was raised in eastern and Central Kansas, the oldest of five siblings.

As a young man, Ben took part in baseball and basketball and was a member of 4-H and the Boy Scouts. He graduated from Olsburg High School in Olsburg, Kansas in 1942 as class valedictorian.

Following high school, he moved to Washington State and worked for the Fry Roofing Company and then in 1942 he went to Jerseyville, Ill., and worked for Baughfman Manufacturing Company. During the summer of 1942 he worked in Arnolds Park, and then joined the US Navy on October 1943 at Camp Dodge and then went to boot camp at Farragutt, Idaho. He attended electric school at the North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton, N.D., earning an Electricians Mate 1st Class rating. He served on the USS Ward and the Destroyer USS Jobe. He was honorably discharged from the US Navy on Jan. 19, 1946.

On Saturday, Jan. 8, 1944, he married Querida Belle Rickman at the Gatchel Methodist Church in Des Moines. Ben attended the University of Chicago where he specialized in making neon signs. He then worked in Estherville, Iowa where he was designing neon signs. In his later years, his primary occupation was as a police officer and he was employed for the town of Arnold's Park, as police chief from 1951 through 1957. He then became a patrolman for the Spencer, Iowa Police Department and within 9 months was promoted to Night Captain and then Assistant Chief. In 1965, he was promoted to Chief of Police and served in that capacity until retiring from the police force in 1970. Ben was a lifetime member of the Iowa Association of Chiefs of Police and Peace Officers, Inc. He then went to work for the Union Casualty Insurance Company of Omaha, Neb., until retiring recently.

Ben's hobbies were fishing, hunting, camping, playing golf and bowling in his younger years. He enjoyed fishing trips to the Northwest and camping in Wyoming and Montana. He was an avid big game hunter and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. He was also an active member of the Day-Breakers Kiwanis, Evening Nightshade Masonic Lodge and Veteran's of Foreign Wars (VFW). He was a member of the Methodist Church until moving to Arnolds Park, IA where he joined the Friends Church and served as Deacon, Music Director and Finance Officer for the church.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Giles Decker; and one grandson, Jason Jensen.

Ben is survived by his wife, Querida Decker; three sons: Paul (wife, Sharon) Decker of Rossie, David (wife, Joy) Decker of Spencer, and William (wife, Jackie) Decker of Peterson; two daughters: Janet (Mrs. Robert) Wright of Omaha, Neb., and Ruth (Mrs. John) Jensen of Choteau, Mont.; 14 grandchildren: 18 great--grandchildren; two brothers, Charles (wife, Noni) Decker of Kissee Mills, Mo., and Harold Decker of Ft. Dodge; and a sister, Esther(Mrs. Alvis) Shaw of Collins.

Memorials are suggested to the Hospice of Northwest Iowa; c/o Spencer Municipal Hospital; Spencer, Iowa 51301.

Warner Funeral Home of Spencer is in charge of arrangements.