Cover photo for Shelby Jean Decker's Obituary
Shelby Jean Decker Profile Photo
1938 Shelby 2024

Shelby Jean Decker

December 3, 1938 — April 29, 2024

Jean passed peacefully from this life on an afternoon in April 2024 at the age of 85, after a 12-year long journey with Alzheimer’s disease. She was surrounded and supported by her loving family and caregivers during the last days of her life. 

Shelby Jean Decker was born in Bandy, Virginia in December 1938 and graduated from Richlands High School in June 1956. Shortly after high school she moved to Roanoke, Virginia where she met and six weeks later, married the love of her life, Jack Decker.

She worked various jobs throughout her lifetime including working in a bakery, meat packing plant, nursing home, and a sewing factory but her favorite she always said was being a stay-at-home-mom and taking care of others. When she wasn’t working, she was teaching Sunday school at the Capitol Heights, MD Baptist Church where her husband, Jack, served as a deacon or leading a troop of Cub Scouts. 

Jean and her husband Jack lived in various cities in Virginia and Maryland during their forty plus years of marriage, but ultimately settled in Mechanicsville, MD until Jack’s passing in June 1998. In 2001, she bought a home and moved to Prince Frederick, MD where she lived out the remainder of her days.

Jean had the gift of gab, never knowing anyone to be a stranger; and was not shy with inviting a person in for a ‘quick’ visit to sit down with her to have a cup of coffee or meal; even the unsuspecting telemarketers and solicitors often found a friend in Jean after hours long conversation ensued. Her countless stories were both captivating and terrifying at times but almost always ended with laughing so hard there were tears in her eyes. And if she couldn’t talk with people in person, she loved to send cards and write very long extremely detailed letters for any and every occasion or just because she felt the need to impart some wisdom. Of course, that wisdom was not always welcome but that never deterred her from wanting to share.

She is survived by her four children (and their spouses): Rex Decker (Susan), Kathy Decker Wingo (Kenny), Becky Anderson (Wes), Norma Clemons (Brian); eleven grandchildren: Travis Decker (Heather) and Ryan Decker (Amanda), Joseph Smyth (Kirstin), Rachel Smyth Foudray (Brandon), and John Smyth (Ariana), Erin Wingo Monn (Brandon), Hunter, Chase and Aidan Anderson, and Jessie and Sammy Clemons; and fourteen great grandchildren: Robert and Nathan Decker, Cayden, Justin and Maddie Decker, Isaac and Emma Smyth, Maddox and Isabelle Smyth, Ava and Mason Foudray, Bella and Alex Ferrer, and Lily Monn. Additionally, she is survived by her sister Lenora Hankins of Huntingtown, MD, as well as countless nieces, nephews, cousins, and other extended family and friends.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Norman Jackson “Jack” Deckerfather, Aubrey Curtis Beavers; mother, Kathleen Claris Bandy Beavers;brotherCurtis Aubrey Beavers; sister, Linda Sue Boyce; grandsons, William Jackson “Billy” Smyth (father to Isaac and Emma Smyth) and Justin Allen Decker. While it's comforting to know how happy she is to see them all again, it's very hard for those of us that she has left behind to imagine life here on earthwithout her.

Over the past eight years and until her passing, Jean was fortunate to have had some very special caregivers, namely, Olivia Jones, Darlene Long, and Ann Rice who took wonderful care of her; which only seems fitting given she herself had also been a caregiver. In fact, Jean never hesitated to sacrifice or put her own needs aside to help others including moving in and taking care of her own mother for over a year after her mother suffered a stroke; and years prior to that moving in with and caring for a neighbor (who had fallen and broken a hip) for over four years; just so the neighbor could live out her final days in her own home.

Jean’s life was a living example of Hebrews 13:16 – “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” May we find comfort in knowing that her generosity and kindness will forever live on in the hearts of all those who are blessed to have known her. 

The funeral service and visitation will be held at the Lee Funeral Home, 8200 Jennifer Lane, Owings, MD, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, from 11 am to 2 pm; followed by a short burial service at 2:30 pm at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery, 11301 Crain Hwy, Cheltenham, MD, with a private gathering for family and close friends afterwards.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shelby Jean Decker, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, May 14, 2024

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery

11301 Crain Hwy, Cheltenham, MD 20623

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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