Gordon Lee Decker, born February 1940, passed away at home August 23rd surrounded by his family.
Born to August and Mary Tiede Decker, Gordon was raised on the family homestead in Powder River County in SE Montana. He rode his Shetland pony or walked 2 miles to Billup Elementary School, a one room schoolhouse. Gordon attended Sheridan High School and graduated in 1957. He attended Montana State College and received his bachelor's degree In Range Management in 1961. Upon graduation, he accepted a job with the Forest Service in Bridgeport, CA working as a range conservationist. This job was cut short as he was drafted into the US Army. After basic training, he was stationed at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. After the military, he returned to the family ranch. At this time, he also worked on the original Powder River County history book titled Echoing Footsteps. He wrote and edited some of the stories and hand drew the maps published in the front and back cover.
Gordon returned to college in 1968, now named Montana State University, and received his PhD in Soil Science in 1972. During the summers of his graduate studies, he worked for the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) soil mapping several counties in Montana. In 1976 he accepted a Soils Coordinator job in Fort Worth, TX and worked there until 1979 when he moved to Washington, DC to work at the USDA as a Soil Conservationist and Computer Specialist. He returned to Montana in 1986 and was the State Soil Scientist until his retirement in 1995.
Gordon enjoyed weekends at the family ranch, maintaining the structures, spraying weeds, cutting the firewood supply for the house, and visiting with family and friends. As the grandkids reached hunting age, he enjoyed guiding them around the ranch to fill their hunting tags. He also enjoyed dancing, meeting friends on Fridays at Bozeman Brewery, traveling to visit family, and each March going to SF Giants Spring Training in Scottsdale.
Gordon is preceded in death by his parents, August, and Mary Tiede Decker. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Kathy, sister Dona (Al), stepson Ray (Rebecca), sister-in-law Peggy (Ron), nieces, Carrie, Rebecca (Don), Stephanie, Kelly, Ciera, Carli, and nephew Dylan, seven grandchildren, and four great grandchildren and his four-legged companion, Rocky.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Stillwater Hospice of Montana, the Bozeman Senior Center, or the College of Agriculture at Montana State University.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00PM Monday, August 30th, at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service Tribute Center.