Richard Jeffrey Dekker

February 15, 1947February 3, 2021
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Richard Jeffrey Dekker (Jeff), age 73, passed away February 3, 2021. He was born February 15, 1947 in Muskegon Michigan to the late Richard L. and Elaine J. Dekker. Jeff grew up in Michigan and Illinois, but came to Colorado in 1965 and has lived here since. Jeff's greatest joy was being Santa Claus for all the kids and truly enjoyed the happiness he brought to everyone of all ages.

Jeff loved Colorado and the mountains, and loved to hike, camp and go four wheeling whenever possible. Jeff's other hobbies included working on cars and he rebuilt various engines including a diesel engine. He did fantastic woodworking and built solid oak cabinets. He created many metal-art pieces for gifts and charity, and built a solid copper range hood and bay-window for his own home. He enthusiastically followed steam powered locomotives and build his own model railroad layouts.

Jeff was also very civic minded and community oriented volunteering to tow floats for Littleton's Western Welcome Week to being Sunday School Superintendent. He sang in choirs performing in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall, Colorado Symphony, Red Rocks, Fiddler's Green to churches and local nursing homes. Jeff was also the Vice President of the local water board.

Professionally Jeff was a Jouneyman Sheet Metal Worker for over 40 years, and had an associates degree in Electronics. He worked on many notable buildings such as Currigan Hall, the Cash Register Building, numerous schools and was HVAC Foreman at the Republic Plaza Building. Jeff had so many more talents and he will be missed by so many.

Jeff was the beloved husband for 34 years to Naomi Dekker, dad to Sarah (Richard Cooper), Ana (Glenn Crandall Jr) grandpa to Andrew Howard, Matthew Howard, Justin Howard, and Glenn Lee Crandall III (Natalie) and great grandpa to Makenzi Crandall and Liliana Candall. Brother to Diana Dame (Donald), Julie Welsher (Randall), Laura Brame (Daniel), Mark (Marguerite) Brother-in-law to Shirley Hutchinson, Kathy Craighead and Donald (Jeanie) Craighead He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother James, brother-in-law Ira Hutchinson and brother-in-law David Craighead.


  • Visitation

    Monday, February 22, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021


  • Committal Service

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021


Richard Jeffrey Dekker

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Terry Moffre

February 25, 2021

I first met Jeff and Naomi while tailgating at the Denver Broncos games! Thick or thin, hot or cold , absolutely down right freezing, we were all there!! My kids really thought he was Santa when I would take them to a game! It was the cutest thing to see them on his lap and telling him what they wanted for Christmas ♥️ Even though it’s been years since our tailgating days, I will never forget Santa and of course Mrs. Claus! Blessings and healing hugs to the family. God bless you.

Peggy Worthington

February 24, 2021

I have known Jeff and Naomi for such a very long time. Our friendship began at St Andrews Methodist church and deepened when we joined Bridges music ministry. We spent many wonderful hours together. During this time, when we would go out to eat, we would watch as little children would be watching Jeff, and want to get close to him. He was a magnet for them. When asked he admitted that they thought he was Santa which of course made perfect sense. A time came when my company needed Santa to visit with our clients children. I reached out to Jeff and Naomi and a long journey began with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Jeff and Naomi looked forward to this every year as all of us did. They brought so much joy to so many children, who knew without a doubt that they were visiting with the real Santa, because he was always there for them year after year. Jeff, we will miss you forever. You will stay in our hearts and we promise to honor you through love and laughter.

Laura Brame

February 23, 2021

My big brother was larger than life. My friend, And My birthday present . He always said Mark & I where his, but
I think it was the other way around. My twin brother Mark & I was born on his birthday. Jeff was and will always be My closest friend. I miss him so much. I was told by My dad. not to have regrets...
The only regret I have is that I didn't get to talk to him before he passed. I love you so much. God has a new Angel. Please look over Naomi. She's strong but shes brokenhearted. Family's can fall out of touch, but Jeff always made sure I was okay. I miss you. I love you
God bless you and Naomi.
Your birthday present Laura Brame ❤💔❤

Richard Cooper

February 23, 2021

Jeff I have missed our conversations over the years, those conversations out on the back deck covered a wide range of topics. From cars to just about everything in between. We had those conversations with the smell of barbeque and smoke coming off the grill! The love you showed to your Grandsons was unwavering, your Grandsons still speak of the times they spent you visiting the trains, mountains, parks, and helping out around the house with the projects you were working on. You lived life to the fullest! You will be missed greatly. Rest easy my friend!


February 22, 2021

Naomi and Family - Rick and I send our condolences, We have very fond memories of SUNDAY's at Mile High tailgating with both of you. Jeff has a prime seat now.

Alice Boyer

February 22, 2021

The Boyer Family sends their deepest condolences to the whole Dekker clan! We truly loved the many concerts and picnics with Jeff and Naomi. Truly too many memories too just name one or two. He was a wonderful man, larger than life, my favorite Santa, and will be very missed.

Arlene (Dekker) Akker

February 15, 2021

We are so saddened by Jeff’s passing. Although we didn’t see Him often, we had connection through emails and phone calls. We often went to visit the family in several of the places they lived. I loved visiting and getting to know my cousins! The best vacation when I was young that we took was visiting them in Colorado and camping in Estes Park. Jeff, Diana, Jim and Julia were surrounding me in age. It was just great. When Jeff’s brother passed away, Jeff and Naomi met us for dinner. It was so fun to be in a restaurant as kids came by and stopped just to set their eyes on “Santa”! Jeff - we’ll miss you. Rest on high dear cousin.❤️

Adrienne Benavidez

February 15, 2021

I was so saddened to hear about Richard's passing. Dear Naomi - my heart goes out to you and your family. Richard was such a bright light to so many of us. He was always willing to volunteer and step up no matter the need. I so enjoyed his cheerfulness and his feistiness. He was an uniquely warm and genuine person. He will be missed!

Shirley Jenkins

February 15, 2021

I host an event every year for the children of clients & friends of mine. Richard & Naomi were with me for about 10 years. My clients felt like I did...this really IS the REAL Santa! I’ve had clients secretly call me to inquire if the REAL Santa would be making a stop at my event. Santa & Mrs. Claus have been pillars of our holiday traditions and he will be missed tremendously. Happy Trails Santa...until we meet again...