Otto Carl Decker, of Vicksburg passed away on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at the age of 88. Otto was born on January 22, 1934 in Toledo, OH. He was the son of Frank and Marie (Eppler) Weitenauer. The family moved to Mendon, MI shortly after Otto’s birth. He attended Mendon Community Schools and graduated from Mendon High School with the Class of 1952.
After high school Otto went straight into the workforce and was employed at Lee Paper Company in Vicksburg for a short time before deciding that he wanted to serve his country. He joined the United States Army and served from 1954 until 1956, and was stationed at Fort Devens in Shirley, MA. It was during this time that Otto married the love of life, Nancy Jean Brown, on April 16th, 1955.
After finishing his time in the military, Otto worked very hard to support his wife and growing family by working at Simpson Lee Paper Company as a millwright. He also worked part-time as a mechanic for Decker’s Auto Service, the sole proprietor of the business he started. A life of service was important to Otto. He was a volunteer fireman for the Vicksburg community for 50 years, and he became a first responder.
Otto’s faith was the most important to him. He was an active member of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church for over 50 years. He was a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council 13305. Otto loved the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, watching professional boxing matches, and old episodes of Perry Mason. He also was a history buff, especially World War II military history.
In his spare time, Otto loved target shooting and competing in military target competitions. He also used his sharp shooting skills as an avid hunter for all kinds of wildlife. Otto also enjoyed teaching middle school students at Vicksburg Middle School Basic Aid Training and obtained his NRA Hunter Safety instructor training. He held hunter safety classes in his home.
He was an avid reader and enjoyed literature of all kinds, especially anything written about World War II and suspense novels. He also liked reading about our American Presidents. Speaking of presidents, Otto loved talking politics to anyone who would listen and not get offended and/or simply agree with him. He actively supported the NRA.
One of his famous quotes after retiring was, “I go shooting on Monday’s because I get the most important thing done at the beginning of the week.”
Otto is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nancy; six children: Anna (Scott) Cowherd, Tony (Monica Johnson) Decker, Mike (Kathy) Decker, Melanie (Andy) Boyd, Joe (Karen Warner) Decker, and Phil (Emily) Decker; 16 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents: Otto Decker Sr, Frank and Marie Weitenauer; son: Paul Christopher Decker; sisters: Joan Wales-Dixon and Delores Elkins; sister-in-law: Helen Brown Horn and mother-in-law and father-in-law: Anna and Ralph Brown.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Otto on Friday, May 6th at 11am at the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, with Monsignor Thomas Martin officiating. The family will receive friends at the church on Friday from 10am until the time of the service. The family will lead a rosary at the church beginning at 9:45am in the sanctuary. Burial of Otto’s ashes will be held with military honors at Vicksburg Cemetery following the mass.
While at www.amshfuneralhomes.com please take time to sign Otto’s guestbook and/or share a memory with the family. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, St. Martin’s Knights of Columbus Council 13305, and/or South County Fire Authority.
The Decker family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, 409 South Main Street, Vicksburg, MI 49097 (269) 649-1697.