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In Loving Memory

Decker, Dorothy E.

December 15, 1930 - October 12, 2023

Dorothy Elaine was born on December 15th, 1930, in Boston Massachusetts to Olaf Jacobsen and Ellen Hannon. Dorothy was the oldest of 5 children. Dorothy described her childhood as happy, often playing by the beach with her siblings and collecting clams for dinner. She spoke very dearly of whole family, especially her mother Ellen and her sister Elaine.

In 1950, Dorothy married Philip Kenneth Guagliata with whom she had Stephen and Kenneth. Later, in 1956, she married Robert Edward Decker. Robert Edward Decker Jr. was born in Boston in 1957 and two years later they moved their family to St. Louis.

Dorothy was a very hard-working woman, and she had many jobs to help support herself and her children. One of the jobs she talked about the most, was her job at the Humane Society where she helped to take care of many animals, including the dog she adopted (“Prince”). Dorothy had a modest means of living, and by most people’s standards did not have much in the way of personal possessions or much in the way of spending. But because of her generous and loving nature, she was often sharing what little she had with others. Whether that meant a home cooked meal, a thoughtful gift that she either made herself or chose specifically for you, or most of all- Time. She spent thoughtful and quality time with the people she loved, most especially her grandchildren as they grew up. Being a thoughtful and committed community member was a way of life to Dorothy.

Her son Stephen remembers an occasion in which a man came and knocked on the door asking for work or some money. Dorothy did not turn him away just because she was a single mom with very little for her own household. She set him to work sweeping the shared community courtyard behind her apartment. When he returned, she had a set of clothing for him, a pair of work boots, and a $20 bill (Very generous amount of money at that time). Needless to say, the man walked away beside himself with joy, but Dorothy had more joy than even he. This wasn’t an isolated event. Dorothy was a very kind and altruistic person. She never ever focused on her own needs or discomfort. Her attention was always directed towards the needs of the people around her. Even when she became house bound, she would always extend her hospitality to each visitor by offering little presents, a meal, sweets, or she would often say “check the pantry, anything in the pantry honey, just take it”. She truly loved people (especially babies!), animals and nature (especially flowers).

Dorothy was also a discreet and wise woman of faith. She was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on November 7th, 1970. She was a true pillar in her congregation, especially during her time serving as a full-time evangelizer. She raised her three sons to love and respect Jehovah God, to love and respect all people, and set the example herself on how to do so. Especially in the manner of teaching others the truth found in the Bible, and how it changes lives for the better once Godly principles are applied in life. Her family treasures her favorite scripture, Romans 8:35-39. Dorothy finished her life in full faith, truly honoring the words of these verses. Her family treasured her and the Christian example she set as the family matriarch. She had a truly humble but wise, discreet but strong way about herself, living with respect and dignity for herself, and every person she met. Her family strives to imitate her superb example she has left in our hearts.

Dorothy is survived by her three sons: Stephen, Kenneth and Robert Jr; thirteen grandchildren: Jennifer, Stephen, Kenny Jr., Justin, Robert, Steven, Chris, Tiffany, Naomi, Zachary, Rosa, Moriah and Elijah and her great-grandchildren: Gema, Denise and Ariah.




6 thoughts on “Decker, Dorothy E.”

  1. I unfortunately didn’t know Dorothy very well. But the kind of person she was is obvious, the fruitage is her children and grandchildren, who I know to be loving, kind, and generous people.. Much love to all of you. You’re in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

  2. A long, full life, well-remembered. Her character was evident from the unending love and devotion she inspired her family to show her until the end. She will be back soon.

  3. Dorothy’s most prominent qualities were hospitality, generosity and love of family and friends. She also showed love of neighbor in the many years she volunteered and faithfully served as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. We look forward to seeing her without the pain and suffering she endured at the end of her life. She will rest for now and be at peace until we welcome her in the New World Jehovah has promised where she will have perfect health. – Isaiah 33:24.


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