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DECKER, Marjorie Jean (Schenk)

DECKER - Marjorie Jean (nee Schenk)
Born in Buffalo, NY on December 14, 1920. Marj greatly valued education. She graduated from Bennett High School in 1938, and from Wells College in 1942 with a degree in Biological Chemistry. She was the class correspondent for her Wells class for 50 years and a very active alum. After graduating from college, Marj worked as a Chemist at Spencer Kellogg Company in Buffalo, where she met James E. Decker Jr, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They were married on June 17, 1944. Jim joined the Navy and was stationed at Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay while Marj worked at Cutter Labs developing ways to mass produce penicillin. After the war, they returned to Buffalo where he became a dentist, and Marj served as his receptionist for a time. Together, Marj and Jim raised four children. Marj was the Girl Scout Cookie Chair for the many years that her three daughters were in Scouts. Marj loved animals, both her own dogs Olga and Edna, and her grand-dogs, of which there were many. She was also an excellent knitter, embroiderer and seamstress, and always had a project going. Marj and Jim were great travelers, starting with camping trips when their youngest was an infant, and continuing throughout their retirement. They took yearly trips to Minneapolis, drove cross country to the Seattle World's Fair, and eventually visited all 50 states. They loved to visit National Parks and made 19 trips with Elder Hostel including bicycling trips in Holland and along the Danube. As their children grew up and moved across the U.S., trips to visit the grandchildren became paramount. They moved to Kendal at Ithaca in 1997 where they continued to live active, happy and purposeful lives. Marj was active in the church and in charitable organizations throughout her life. She was a member at Kenilworth United Church of Christ, Faith UCC in Boston, NY, and First Congregational Church in Ithaca. She was also a regular volunteer at Meals on Wheels while living in Colden, NY. Marj's long life ended at Kendal on February 8, 2019 with her daughter Nancy and her grandson James by her side. Marj was preceded in death by her husband of almost 60 years. She is survived by her children Pamela Baker and her husband David, James E. Decker III and his wife Elizabeth, Carolyn Schmidt and her husband Milan, and Nancy Tomczak and her husband Jim; by her grandchildren Katherine Baker Strack, Geoff Decker, James E. Decker IV, Mattine Schmidt Hartzell, Rebecca Schmidt, Grace Tomczak and Abraham Tomczak; great grandchildren Nathan and Helen Mar Hartzell; and by cousins, nieces, and nephews, all of whom are greatly missing Marj and her laugh. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kendal Residents Association Employee Appreciation Fund or Rainy Day Fund; 2230 N Triphammer Rd; Ithaca, NY; 14850. A service will be held March 29, 2019, at 2 PM at Kendal at Ithaca, 2230 N Triphammer Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850. Condolences may be sent via BANGS FUNERAL HOME, 209 W. Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850.

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Bangs Funeral Home Inc.

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