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Christopher J. Decker

July 30, 2019
Christopher J. Decker
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Obituary for Christopher J. Decker

MADISON - Christopher J. Decker, age 54, of Madison, Wis., passed away on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at Agrace HospiceCare after a courageous, hard fought battle with glioblastoma that lasted more than three years. Chris consistently waged that battle with undeniable courage, a spirit of grace, and a determined perseverance to be “regular Chris.” He was at Agrace for 15 weeks, every day with a smile and non-stop visits from friends and family.

Chris was born Sept. 6, 1964, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Richard and Patricia (Miller) Decker. He graduated from Maquoketa Community High School, attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and graduated with a professional degree in Pharmacy from the University of Iowa. In 1988, Chris married Catherine Aiello.

Following graduation from pharmacy school, Chris served for two years as Director of Professional Affairs for the Iowa Pharmacy Association before being selected to serve as CEO of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, a position he held for nearly 30 years. In Wisconsin, he transformed a struggling organization into one that was purpose filled and vision driven. Chris loved his work and everything about it and took great pride in helping make a positive difference in his profession. He challenged everyone to “be a difference maker!” Chris received numerous accolades including the most recent Certificate of Merit Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy.

The only thing Chris loved more than his work was his family. His children, Joe, Mary Catherine and Johnny, brought joy to his life every day and he was so proud of them! He was their champion and advocate. He strived to help them become caring, capable young adults. Two events this summer that brought special joy to Chris were the marriage of Mary Catherine to Bob Pawelski and the announcement by Joe and Lilly Small that they are expecting a baby girl in October, that they have named Iris Ann.

Chris provided his colleagues, friends and family with inspiring lessons in life, filled with kindness, gratitude, and faith. His love of family, great restaurants, terrific wine, golf and laughter provided a platform for building relationships with people throughout the country. He loved playing golf. He served on the board at Nakoma Golf Club and was president of the board at the time of his diagnosis. Members of Nakoma were some of his closest friends. Chris’s ability to connect with people created lasting friendships cherished by him and all who knew him. He made everyone feel that they were his best friend.

Chris is survived by his three children, Joe Decker, Mary Catherine (Bob) Pawelski and John Decker, all of Madison; his parents, Richard and Patricia Decker of Maquoketa, Iowa; brother, Todd Decker of Waukee, Iowa; sister, Laura Decker of Iowa City, Iowa; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Joe and Marguerite Miller and Carl and Bernice Decker; aunt and uncle, Jayne and LaVerne Keppler; and uncle, Robert Gaffney.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 401 S. Owen Drive, Madison, at 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON FITCHBURG FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, and at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass on Monday. A luncheon and celebration of life will follow at Nakoma Golf and Country Club, 4145 Country Club Road, Madison. All are encouraged to participate at this time with memories and stories that include Chris. Burial will be at SACRED HEART CEMETERY in Maquoketa, Iowa at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019.

The Decker family would like to thank the compassionate healthcare professionals and volunteers at Agrace HospiceCare and UW Hospital and Clinics for the excellent care Chris received.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the family for pharmacy scholarships in Chris’s name; the Wisconsin Pharmacy Foundation, 701 Heartland Trail, Madison, WI 53717; to Agrace HospiceCare (www.agrace.org); or to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.

May God be as good to you, Chris, as you have been to us.

Gunderson Fitchburg
Funeral & Cremation Care
2950 Chapel Valley Road
(608) 442-5002


Previous Events

Visitation

Sunday

11

Aug

2:00 PM 8/11/2019 2:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 8/11/2019 7:00:00 PM
Gunderson Fitchburg Funeral & Cremation Care

2950 Chapel Valley Rd.
Fitchburg, WI 53711

Gunderson Fitchburg Funeral & Cremation Care
2950 Chapel Valley Rd. Fitchburg 53711 WI
United States

Visitation

Monday

12

Aug

10:00 AM 8/12/2019 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 8/12/2019 11:00:00 AM
Our Lady Queen of Peace Church (Madison)

401 S. Owen Drive
Madison, WI

Our Lady Queen of Peace Church (Madison)
401 S. Owen Drive Madison WI
United States

Mass of Christian Burial

Monday

12

Aug

11:00 AM 8/12/2019 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 8/12/2019 12:00:00 PM
Our Lady Queen of Peace Church (Madison)

401 S. Owen Drive
Madison, WI

A luncheon and a time of remembrance will follow at the NAKOMA COUNTRY CLUB, 4145 Country Club Road, Madison.

Our Lady Queen of Peace Church (Madison)
401 S. Owen Drive Madison WI
United States

Celebration of Life

Monday

12

Aug

12:30 PM 8/12/2019 12:30:00 PM
Nakoma Country Club

4145 Country Club Road
Madison, WI

Luncheon and celebration of life will follow the Mass.

Nakoma Country Club
4145 Country Club Road Madison WI
United States

Memorial Contribution

Agrace HospiceCare

5395 E. Cheryl Parkway
Fitchburg, WI 53711

Wisconsin Pharmacy Foundation

701 Heartland Trail
Madison, WI 53717
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