Earl Decker dies at 88


Earl Decker, a member of one of Malibu’s founding families, died May 5 from natural causes at age 88.

Decker was born Feb. 22, 1916 in Savannah, Ga. He was the oldest of Florence and Atha Decker’s three sons. When Earl Decker was young, his family moved to Malibu, where several of his family members already lived.

Decker lived in Decker Canyon and attended the Decker School, a one-room schoolhouse for kindergartners through eighth-graders.

“He used to hike down the canyon to get to school,” said Nancy Simons, Decker’s daughter. “Back then there was really nothing in Malibu.”

Decker later attended Santa Monica High School. After graduation, he went to Santa Monica College. During World War II, Decker fought in Europe, earning two medals.

After the war, Decker moved to Scottsdale, Ariz. where he studied flight training. He then returned to Malibu in 1946, where he met his future wife, Loraine. The two were wed on Aug. 2, 1948.

The Deckers moved to a home on Pacific Coast Highway near Broad Beach before it was called Broad Beach. There, they raised two girls and three boys.

“He was a good father and a good provider,” Simons said. “We didn’t have much, but we always had food on the table.”

Decker worked as a civil engineer at Point Mugu Naval Base in Oxnard. He later worked for McDonald Douglas in Santa Monica. Simons said her father was a hard worker.

“I don’t think he ever missed a day of work,” she said.

In his spare time, Decker was an avid outdoorsmen. He enjoyed deer hunting and hiking. His daughter, Linda Lemay, said Decker was kind-hearted and enjoyed helping people.

Later in their life, Decker and his wife moved in with Lemay and her family in Ojai. Loraine Decker died in 1997. Lemay said it was enjoyable having her parents living with her during those years.

Decker was preceded in death by his brothers, Jimmy and Clyde. He is survived by his daughters, Linda Lemay and Nancy Simons, sons, Bert, Jerry and Ronny, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service is taking place on Saturday at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park in Ventura, located at 5400 Valentine Road in Ventura. The service is at 1 p.m.