Dr. Rodger W. Decker of Laurinburg, North Carolina, died on January 27th, 2020, at Morrison Manor Hospice Facility at the age of 93. He was born on July 11, 1926 to parents Erwin and Janet Decker. During his senior year of high school, Rodger joined the US Navy, trained as a corpsman and was medically discharged in 1945. Rodger earned a BA degree from Hope College, Michigan, and a MA in Biology from the University of New York at Albany. He earned his Ed.D from Columbia University in Administration of Higher Education with a minor in Rehabilitation Services.
Dr. Decker began his career as an educator in 1952 at Flora McDonald College, Red Springs, North Carolina. He played a formative role in the creation of Saint Andrews Presbyterian College where he served as Professor of Education and Psychology, Dean of Admissions, Dean of Students, and Director of Rehabilitation Services. Dr. Decker retired with 39 years of service to these institutions.
Rodger was a faithful servant of Jesus Christ and served as Commissioned Lay Pastor for rural Presbyterian PCUSA congregations throughout the region. He had a special passion for the members of Midway Presbyterian Church, where he served for 26 years. Following retirement at age 85, he enjoyed sitting in the pews with the people of Philadelphus Presbyterian Church, Maxton Presbyterian Church, Midway Presbyterian Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church. He was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, served on the Scotland County School Board for twelve years, and was on the Board of Directors for the Pines of Carolina Council Girl Scouts of America. In April of 2019, Saint Andrews University presented Dr. Decker with the Distinguished Merit Award.
Rodger’s greatest love was his wife, Ginnie, of 58 years who died in 2012. Rodger is survived by his children who love him dearly: Susan and Dwight Williams, Martha Decker and Bob Ryan, Timothy Decker, and Rodger and Melissa Decker. His grandchildren are Luke Phillips, Maddie Phillips, Hillary and Matt Sessions, Monroe Williams, Lee, Logan and Lane Decker. He was especially close to his nephew Fred Purches, wife Kristina and his children. The family extends the most heartfelt thanks to Amy Vanlandingham, Dr. Decker’s nurse and family friend for the last 5 years.
A Celebration of Life and Witness to the Resurrection will be held Saturday, February 1st, 1:00 pm, at Midway Presbyterian Church, Maxton, North Carolina. A visitation will follow in the Fellowship Hall. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Midway Presbyterian Church and Scotland County Habitat for Humanity. The Decker Family wishes to extend special thanks and gratitude to the doctors and staff of the Scotland Cancer Treatment Center, Scottish Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Morrison Manor.
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