Benjamin Joseph Decker, (Gentle Ben) age 96, of rural Kasota, joined our Lord and his loved ones who preceded him on Friday, November 22, 2013, at Oaklawn Health Care Center in Mankato. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 26, 2013, at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato with Rev. Ted Hottinger, SJ officiating, and Rev Don Rauscher, SJ concelebrating. Burial will be in Mahtowa Mount Salem Cemetery near Duluth. Visitation will be held from 4 - 7 p.m., Monday, with a 3:45 p.m., Rosary service at Northview - North Mortuary 2060 Commerce Drive, North Mankato. Visitation continues one hour before the service at the church on Tuesday. In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials to Vine, Hospice or donor's choice.
Ben, the oldest of 8 children, was born to Benjamin H & Anna (Klein) Decker on his grandfather’s farm on the banks of Lake Wita, on July 7, 1917. He left school after 8th grade since his family needed him on the farm. Ben worked hard as a farmhand around Mankato area until he married Imelda Connor in 1956. Shortly thereafter he began farming on his own after moving to Mahtowa in northern Minnesota where Ben and Imelda had two sons, who loved them dearly. Imelda passed away in 1980.
Ben later retired from farming and married Marilyn Hiniker in Mankato on December 27, 1985. He resided in Mankato area until his passing and during which time he was like a father to the 12 step children he acquired and who also loved him dearly.
Ben enjoyed hunting, fishing, long walks in the woods and just being outside. He especially liked visiting with friends and relatives. Ben was a great story teller with a "twinkle" in his eyes, had a great wit and was kind and compassionate. He was known to help those in need to the extent that he would get behind on his own work to help others. Ben was liked by all who knew him.
Ben is survived by his wife Marilyn, son's John (Beverly) Decker, Mike (Laurie) Decker of Mahtowa, Step-Children, Ruth (Paul) Hurt, Cannon Falls, MN, Robert Hiniker, Arcadia, Fl, Pamela (Barth) Reller, Durham, NC, David (Nancy) Hiniker, Kasota, MN, Richard (Renae) Hiniker, Mankato, MN, Cynthia (Gene) Erickson, Lakewood, CO, Barbara Kraupa, White Bear Lake, MN, Daniel (Karolynn) Hiniker, Mankato, MN, Candace (Todd) Mathiason, Innver Grove Heights, MN, Kevin Hiniker, Burien, WA, and Laurie (Doug) Lloyd, Grand Rapids, MN Siblings, Evlyn McMurlyn, Robert Decker, Sister in laws, Geraldine Decker and Shirely Decker, Mankato, MN, 42 Grandchildren, 35 Great Grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Ben was preceded in death by first wife, parents and brothers Harold, Eugene, Walter Harley, and Sister Rosie, Sister in laws Betty and Delores Decker, Delores Roecker and brother in law Mike Roecker.