Ruth M. Decker
March 31, 1922 – September 3, 2019
Ruth Murphy Decker, 97 passed away on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. She was born March 31, 1922 in Brooklyn, NYC, NY to Arthur and Ethel Murphy, the oldest of three girls.
On December 12, 1941 she married John A. Decker, they would be together for 75 loving years and have four children. In 1942 Ruth was one of the first women to be hired on the all-male Flight Line at Grumman Aircraft setting the gyroscopic autopilot in combat aircraft. As an Air Force wife, she had seen most of Europe, Guam, Japan and many state side USAF bases. While at Castle Air Force she attended Merced Jr. College and received her AA degree in 1964, the school’s first graduating class. She retired in June 2005 after 32 years as a teacher’s aide with the Merced School System. Ruth was a long time member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and docent for the Merced County History Museum since the museum first opened its doors in 1983, retiring in 2006. She remained a student and teacher throughout her life. She was pre-deceased by her husband Lt. Col. (Ret.) John A. Decker, her sisters Helen Kummerfeldt and Betty Phillips.
Ruth is survived by her daughter Kathleen Decker of San Jose, CA, son John Lee Decker of Merced, CA, daughter Barbara Ridenhour (Jerry) of Roanoke, VA and daughter Christina Decker of Roanoke, VA. Ruth is also survived by her two granddaughters Jessica Frontus and Nicole Gonzalez, and two great-granddaughters Amora and Amelia Frontus and one great-grandson Madric Gonzalez.
Ruth will be buried with her husband at San Joaquin Valley Cemetery in Santa Nella, CA.