When Shane Decker was in the seventh grade, he had already determined what his life's work would be.
"My grandfather died unexpectedly in 1986," said Decker. Decker was intrigued by the attention given to the family by the funeral home staff during the visitation and service. His interest in science and his acquaintance with the local funeral director in his hometown of Milnor, N.D., further fueled his interest.
Following graduation from Milnor High School, Decker attended and played football for Mayville State University. He attended Cincinnati (Ohio) College of Mortuary Science and worked for 13 years as a funeral director at the Oakes, Milnor and LaMoure, N.D. funeral homes. He worked in funeral products sales for about two years prior to receiving a call from Morris funeral director, Jay Dietz, whom he knew from Oakes.
"I had been praying and asked God to let me know what to do," said Decker. "Jay called the next day to tell me there was a position available in Morris."
Decker was born in 1974 in Breckenridge, Minn. His father Merril is retired after working more than 33 years for Bobcat. Mother, Gloria, owns a bar and grill. The Decker family raised three boys, each in different decades--Shane in the 70s, Kellen in the 80s, Caden in the 90s.
When Decker thinks of his own favorite decade, the days of Prohibition or the Rat Pack come to mind. "I think running a speak-easy or one of those underground pubs would have been interesting," Decker said with a smile. "Or living during the Rat Pack era of Las Vegas."
Decker married wife Deb, who is also from Milnor and now works in human resources for Superior Industries in Morris. The Deckers have a daughter, Riley, and a son, Durgin.
After a year of living in Morris, "we like seeing familiar faces. Morris has a small-town feel and people are very welcoming," said Decker.
The Deckers enjoy sports as a family, especially [North Dakota State University] Bison football. "One of the first things we bought was a Morris activity pass to enjoy boys' and girls' basketball."
"When we travel as a family, we're typically going to a football or basketball game," said Decker.
Decker is a member of the Morris Lions Club in addition to his membership and serving on the Board of Directors of the Pomme de Terre Golf Club.
"Morris has a lot to offer," said Decker. "You don't have to leave Morris to shop."
While the Deckers like to relax and have fun with family and friends, Shane is mindful that his chosen occupation is to "help the living. When someone needs our services, that's when we go. You realize that no matter what you are doing, the family you are going to serve is enduring their most difficult time. There's nothing more gratifying than helping them through it."