Ronald Carter Decker returned to the loving embrace of his parents and Father in Heaven on Thursday, March 10, 2016 after a short battle with prostate cancer. He was born on June 6, 1946 to Frank M. and Betty Carter Decker. He was the fifth of six children and was a member of the LDS Church. Ron was raised in Parowan, Utah where he graduated from Parowan High School in 1964. He entered the Utah National Guard his senior year and after graduation he went into basic training.
He then moved to Bellflower, California and worked for Sealrite. He returned home shortly after and married Claudia Butcher on August 22, 1965. In 1968, they moved to Salt Lake where he worked as a printer for Quality Press and attended trade school. To their union was born their son, Casey R. Decker (Daniel Ortega) of Parowan and their daughter, Tonyia Decker (Ron Williamson) of Enoch. Ron and Claudia later divorced yet remained friends through the years.
He married the love of his life, Connie Stratis Almond on March 30, 1984 in West Valley City. He loved and raised Connie’s five children as his own: Apryl Zapata (Fred) Lakewood, Texas; Cidnie Kuehnl Salt Lake; Jolynn DeBry (David) West Jordan; Dennis Almond (Kimberlee) Cedar City; and Leslie Torres (Matt) of Cedar City.
During this time, Ron changed careers from a brick mason to a corrections officer for the State of Utah and worked at the state prison for nine years. In 1995, he and Connie returned to the land of his youth and came home to Parowan where he continued working at the Iron County Correctional Facility for sixteen years.
Ron loved to camp, hunt and fish, especially at the Yankee Reservoir up Parowan Canyon. For the past few years, Ron and Connie turned into snowbirds and basked in the sun in Arizona each winter. They also spent many happy times up at The Grove in Francis, Utah with their best friends, Brent and Wendy Bolton.
Ron was happiest when he was serving someone else. He was everyone’s friend and always there when you needed him. He was playful and fun, loved to play cards and he gave the best teddy bear hugs.
Ron is survived by his wife and best friend, Connie, his sisters LaReta Andersen (Rigby, Idaho), Sandra Slack (West Virginia), Helen Lamoreaux (Clyde) Salt Lake and Garna Mortensen of Cedar City as well as a brother, Garth (Cindy) of Parowan. He leaves 16 grandkids and 9 great-grandkids.
Ron is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Betty and his grandson, Alex Zapata.
There will be a celebration of Ron’s life held on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the Parowan 3rd Ward Chapel, 90 South Main Street at 1 p.m. under the direction of Southern Utah Mortuary. All are welcome to come pay their respects and share their memories of this loving man. Online condolences can be made at www.sumortuary.com.