Bill Decker, 1917 - 2001
"Willis F. "Bill" Decker, 83 of Peoria AZ, went to be with our Lord & Savior
Sunday, May 20, 01. After serving as an Officer in WWII he moved his family to
Glendale, AZ. He continued in the Army Reserves Advancing to Commandant, U.S.
Army Reserve School in Phoenix & retired a Colonel in 1971. Concurrently Bill
worked for the Veterans Administration in Phoenix as Division Chief retiring
after 35 years of service. He's survived by his wife Doris of 60 years;
Brothers Joe, Al & Bud; a Sister Eva; Sons Larry & Dennis; Daughters Pam &
Cyndi. Services will be held at the Willowbrook Church Chapel, 19390 N. 99th
Ave, Sun City on Thur. May 24 at 10am. Graveside service to follow at Resthaven
Park Cemetery, 6290 W. Northern Ave. Glendale. The family urges friends to make
donations in his memory to Cancer Research or Sun Health Hospice, Peoria AZ."
Some Words From Doris Decker:
My husband Bill's life began August 1, 1917 in Pittsburgh, PA. He survived a twin and a
frail body that required 5 months of hospital care. The strength and courage
needed to overcome this difficult beginning became the hallmark of a tenacious
will that carried him through the successes of his life. Through High School
his life was a continuous struggle to overcome ill health and physical weakness.
Conspiring with his best friend, he secretly started bar bell training, which
began a life of health and fitness. Bill graduated from Strayers College of
Accounting in Washington D.C. In 1939 he joined the Army National Guard and
served as an officer during World War II. After the war he moved his family to
Glendale, Arizona. He continued in the U.S. Army Reserves advancing through
positions of increased responsibility to Commandant of the U.S. Army Reserve
School in Phoenix and retired a Colonel in 1971. Concurrently, Bill worked for
the Veterans Administration in Phoenix as Division Chief, retiring after 35
years of diligent service to veterans in the U.S. and abroad. His inner
strength and willful spirit enabled him to achieve many honors and awards
excelling him beyond anyone's expectations, except his own. Among his
accomplishments were the Army Legion of Merit; Champion Marksman of the 6th U.S.
Army Rifle Team; Weightlifting and Powerlifting Championships at State, National
and International competitions. He was honored by memberships to the Arizona
Weightlifting Hall of Fame and the National Powerlifting Hall of Fame. Many of
his National Masters Powerlifting records still hold. He was also an
International AAU Weightlifting Judge. He was a member of the Willowbrook
United Methodist Church, and served as a Stephen Minister. Bill loved the
outdoors, mountain climbing, hunting, camping, gold, bowling, horseshoes and
sought out the challenge to compete.
Bill went to be with our Lord and Savior on Sunday, May 20, 2001. He will
be missed by his wife Doris, of 60 years; brothers Joe, Al and Bud; his sister
Eva; sons Larry and Dennis; daughters Pam and Cyndi and their families; many
adoring grandchildren and great grandchildren and many loving relatives and
friends. He encompassed a passion for life, God, family and country.
Bill will always be remembered for his motto, "NEVER QUIT!"
From Judy Gedney:
OK Mike, you have the paperwork; although not a complete picture of the man we
love and respect. Sad to realize that the day he died, we were competing in the
Viking Open. You probably know that Bill had by-pass surgery several years ago
and his doctor did not like the idea of him lifting weights. Bill did it
anyway, telling the doctor that the thought of leaving this earth during a
workout would be fine with him. He would laugh about that. Bill always sent a
wonderfully long and newsy Christmas letter telling us about their activities.
He would tell me their bowling and golf scores, his bench pressing efforts, his
squats & deadlifts! It was always wonderful to catch up on their news. I've
just looked through some files to see if I have any of his letters; sadly I do
It was always a joy to run into Bill at airports as we traveled to various
Championships and to sit and talk with him. Working with him during the meets
was a good/fun experience.
You may not know about the "Stephen Ministry so let me explain that a Steven
Minister is a trained spiritual caretaker who is available to work with church
members who have suffered a loss or trauma. They are "comforters" in a sense,
allowing the "wounded" person an opportunity to talk with someone about their
loss. The New Testament speaks of God NOT providing comfort to people to MAKE
THEM COMFORTABLE but INSTEAD to teach them to be COMFORTERS. To make this a bit
more clear, I'll type up 2 Corinthians, Chapter 1, verse 4 from the New
Testament: "God comforts us in all of our afflictions and thus enables us to
comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received
I have no idea if you understand the need to use the terms his family used
in speaking of Bill's death. Rather than saying the Bill died or went to heaven,
they stated repeatedly that Bill went to be with their Lord and Savior. This is
an important statement revealing the depth of Bill's commitment to our Savior
and Lord, Jesus Christ. Bill stood out in the crowd because people could
clearly see Jesus within the depth of his being.
Hopefully you will find some of this helpful. Wishing you God's direction and
Interview with National Masters and IPF World Masters Champion Shawn Cain;
as conducted by Jim Ford on May 6th,2001.
(JF) Shawn , thanks for sitting down and taking the time to visit with us
for "POWERLINES". First off, congratulations on your Masters victory.
Please give us your thoughts on the recent Nationals Meet here in
(SC)It was nice to have the chance to go to Texas for a powerlifting meet.
It's nice to go to a place you've never been before for a meet. It just goes to
show that we need more National class meet directors within the USAPL.
(JF) Yes, there were many records broke both days. Johnny Graham seems to
be really getting meet organization down and getting ready for the IPF
Worlds coming to the US.
Unfortunately I missed some of the best lifting of the meet. I was either
intentionally out of the venue, or was not feeling very good during some of
the lighter classes. (I actually had to leave a friend of mine during his
flight because of feeling poorly Sunday morning) Anyway, by looking at the
results you can see that if I missed some of the lighter classes, I missed
some great lifting.
(SC) The meet seemed to run very smooth. The lifting ran swiftly and was
very organized. Thanks should go out to the judges, announcer, and to the other
helpers for making this a well run meet. Oh yeah, and thanks to Johnny
Graham for orchestrating the whole thing. The medals given out for the top
three place winners were great! I'd like to see all Nationals go to medals
for the top three place winners. They don't take up much space, are very
nice, and mean a lot to the lifter. (at least they mean a lot to me)
(JF) Can you discuss your lifting at the meet, and how it shaped up for you?
(SC) I have to be very happy with my lifting if you look at the overall
picture. I suffered the worst injury of my career last June. I tore three muscles in
the groin area. I haven't been able to train for strength gains since that
time. I've just tried to regain my strength level without getting
reinjured. I feel that I went conservative in squats and bench. Others must
have thought so too, because I heard the term "sandbagger" more than a few
times. Anyway, 305 kg in squat is more than I've lifted since the injury
last year, and the 215 kg bench was a national record, so I'm very pleased
with my lifts.
(JF) "Sandbagger" is not normally a word I hear associated with you.
(SC) The deadlifts were kind of a disappointment to me. My strength level
was very good going into this meet, but I was having some problems with a very
sore SI joint. This problem has come and gone over the past 23 years. It's
from a head on car collision that I had back in 1978. Anyway, I reinjured
it slightly in my last warmup before hitting the platform. Well, my first
and second attempts went fine, but it gave out on my on my last attempt. It
may have looked like I stopped pulling because I couldn't have gotten the
lift, but that was not the case. The only problem there is that I'm the
only one that really knows that. That weight is getting up into the top of
my current range, and it was just unfortunate that I couldn't have given
that last deadlift a true effort. Over all, I am pleased with my lifting at
the meet. To have won the best lifter award on Sunday for the 40-49 age
group was a very big honor. There were some great lifters there. I'm
honored any time I get to share the platform with the Nation's best.
(JF) Well, as I observed you, you looked very sharp, and in the drivers
seat. An 8/9 day is pretty close to perfect. And the Best Lifter Award has
to be gratifing. Tell us about your preparations for Master Worlds and your
thoughts on the US Team going to Moose Jaw, Canada.
(SC) My main goal for this year was to make the Master's world team. I did
Now my goal is to do well and give it my best at Master's worlds. The
master's do well at the IPF worlds every year. This year should be no
different. We have a great team going to Moose Jaw. I wish all those that
made the team well in thier training for worlds, and wish all those who
didn't make the team this year the best in training for thier quest next
Thanks Jim for giving me the oportunity to give my thoughts on the Master's