Eugene L. “Gene” Decker, 78, of Atkinson, formerly of Annawan, died Monday, May 27, 2019, at his residence. A funeral mass to celebrate his life will be at 10 a.m. Friday, May 31 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, in Atkinson. Fr. Stephen Englebrecht will officiate. Burial will follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery. A visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 30 at Vandemore Funeral Home & Crematory, in Atkinson, where a rosary will be recited at 3:30 p.m. Memorials may be directed to Hope Lodge (part of the American Cancer Society) or the Gene Decker Memorial Fund.

Eugene was born April 19, 1941, in Lincoln, the son of Aubrey and Frances (Redshaw) Decker. He married Marie E. Greenwood on May 14, 1966, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Annawan. Gene and Marie moved from rural Annawan to Atkinson in 2005. Gene graduated from Prophetstown High School in 1959. He served in the United States Army Reserves for six years. Gene worked for Alcoa for 7½ years and started farming in Annawan and Hooppole area in 1968. His true passion was farming the land he loved. He was still active in the farming operations with his son. He enjoyed his drives checking his crops He was a seed corn representative for 30 years at Renk & Fontanelle Seed Company. He was active on the Annawan school board (1981 – 1989), longtime member of the Illinois Farm Bureau, served two terms on the Henry County Farm Bureau, and a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. His hobbies included reading and following the Bears and Cubs. He also enjoyed attending his grandsons’ sporting events and activities.

Those left to cherish his memory include his loving wife of 53 years, Marie; daughter, Annette Decker, of Elkridge, Md.; son, Greg (Kate) Decker, of Atkinson; grandsons, Dylan and Kaleb Decker; brothers, Dean (Lauran) Decker, of Nevada, and Neil (Irma) Decker, of Prophetstown; and sister Linda (Dave) Wherry, of Fulton. Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Aubrey and Frances.