Raymond Decker

Obituary of Raymond Mathew Decker

Obituary for Raymond Mathew Decker August 6, 1938 – July 28, 2021 (age 82) It is with profound sadness that the family of Dr. Raymond M. Decker announce his passing from a heart attack in the early morning hours of July 28th, 2021. Raymond was born August 6, 1938 to John Raymond “Ray” and Myrtle Decker (nee Omholt) in Great Falls, Montana. Soon after, Ray and Myrtle moved to Dutton, Montana where they raised their family. Raymond Decker was a 1956 graduate of Dutton High School prior to studying pre-med at Carroll College in Helena, MT. After graduating from Carroll College in 1960, he attended St. Louis University in St. Louis MO and graduated from their medical school in 1964. Upon completion of an internship at Providence Hospital in Seattle, Ray then enlisted in the United States Navy and served as a medical doctor with a Seabee battalion which included one tour of duty in Vietnam. After leaving the Navy with a rank of Lieutenant, Ray began his residency at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington. Ray then established a practice with Dr. Gordon Moore, and they were later joined by Drs. Hopkins, Watts, Sestero and Meyer, which eventually became known as Spokane Ob/Gyn. His greatest love in medicine was the joy he found in delivering babies and sharing that joy with their families. Ray loved the peace and sense of calm that babies brought to him. Ray was a gifted doctor and surgeon as well as a pioneer in laser and fertility surgery during the 1970’s and 1980’s. More importantly, he was a doctor who was loved by his patients and colleagues, and all were saddened when he announced his decision to retire from private practice in 1987. Ray then continued working as a locum tenens doctor, which allowed him to travel the country filling in for other doctors. This opportunity allowed him to focus on his love of working with patients and practicing medicine. Ray was eventually lured to Olympia, WA by his friend Dr. Larry Brewer to work at the midwife clinic associated with St. Peters Hospital. Ray worked there until he fully retired from medicine. It is estimated he helped bring nearly 10,000 babies into this world during his decades of practicing medicine. Ray married Bernadette Beuttler on August 7, 1965 in Seattle, Washington. The couple moved to Spokane, Washington in 1967 where they gave birth to three children- Mathew John in 1966, James Edward (Jed) in 1967 and Thomas Michael in 1969. The couple raised their family in Spokane, and once all three children had graduated high school, Ray and Bernadette moved to Helena, Montana in 1987 before finally settling into retirement in Olympia, WA in 1993. In his retirement years, Ray was an avid fisherman and enjoyed road trips to Montana. He was very proud of his home state and loved his family and friends that live there. In addition to the family mentioned above, Ray is survived by his sister Rose Frisbee of Lincoln, MT, daughters-in-law Mary Ann Decker of Oregon City, OR and Laurie Decker of Bellingham, WA as well as his son-in-law Robert McDonough of Federal Way, WA. He was the beloved Papa Ray of John Decker (Kayla) of Butte, MT, Kristyn Decker (John Ascroft) of Oregon City, OR, Brigitte Decker of Oregon City, OR, and his great granddaughter Ashlynn Decker of Butte, MT. He is also survived by a brother-in-law Peter Beuttler and many nieces and nephews. Ray was preceded in death by his brother Allen Decker in 2015 and his first born son Mathew in June 2021. Ray enjoyed nothing more than spending time with family and took great pride in watching not only his children, but his grandchildren grow and flourish. He was our rock and pillar, and we are forever grateful for his pivotal influence, love and support. Seeing his great-granddaughter Ashlynn brought a special glimmer to his eyes, especially on her horsey rides on his stair lift. Ray leaves behind a legacy of kindness, compassion, and a giving, selfless heart who touched countless lives during his 82 years. He made friends and left a lasting impression wherever he went and will be sorely missed by many, most profoundly by his family. We take solace in knowing he is with many family members who’ve predeceased him and he is undoubtedly spending his time swapping fishing stories with them all. Raymond Decker will be laid to rest on Friday, September 17th in a private family ceremony at Holyrood Cemetery in Shoreline, WA. Following his interment, there will be a celebration of Ray’s life with family and friends that same day at 3:00pm at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center: 31510 Pete Von Reichbauer Way S., Federal Way, WA. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Raymond Decker’s name to the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in Spokane, Washington (which provides support for children and families facing housing and resource insecurity. Their website: www.vanessabehan.org) or a charity of your choice. Rest in peace, Ray. “There are no goodbyes. Wherever you’ll be, you’ll be in my heart.” - Ghandi
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Celebration of Life

3:00 pm
Friday, September 17, 2021
Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center
31510 Pete Von Reichbauer Way S
Federal Way, Washington, United States
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