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Life Story / Obituary
Joseph Dekker was a compassionate, easy going and genuine person. Known for his infectious laugh and positive outlook on life, his warm nature will be greatly missed by many of his special friends and family.
The decade of the Sixties in America was marked by great social changes. Known as the era of optimism, many Americans believed they were standing at the dawn of a golden age. This time was marked by John F. Kennedy holding the office of president of the United States, hippies and psychedelic lifestyles, the black civil rights movement, and the music of The Beatles. At the beginning of this promising decade in our nation’s history, Albert and Bella (Kingsley) Dekker welcomed their eighth child, a newborn son, Joseph on December 11, 1960 in Vicksburg, Michigan. Joe shared that same special birth year with his older sister Andrea, his Irish twin.
With a large family to support, Joe’s dad worked at the County Road Commission while his mother worked at Thriftway groceries. Joe stayed active in high school by participating in both football and wrestling. Known as an extraordinary and gifted artist who loved to draw, he also played the piano and the trombone before graduating from Vicksburg High School in 1979. Never one to sit idle, Joe went to work for Richards Sewer and Septic Services, shortly after graduation. Later, he made a 30 year career out of working at H & H Feed & Grain.
Joe did not let life pass him by. In his adult years, Joseph continued his passion for the arts by taking photographs. He loved to capture photos of his many trips, especially his numerous trips to beautiful Jamaica. Often times he enjoyed hanging out at the Village Hide-A-Way socializing and drinking Budweiser with friends. He had a passion for shooting his gun and going to the Michigan International Speedway. He was an enthusiastic fan of Dale Jr and Kevin Harvick. He was an excellent cook and just recently perfected his new hobby of baking by adding walnuts to his delicious banana bread. When Joseph wasn’t entertaining friends with his sense of humor or off doing the many interests he enjoyed, he spent time with his treasured cat, “BT” named for being Big Trouble.
After his diagnosis with cancer, Joe vowed to take advantage of what time he had left. He eagerly created an elaborate bucket list and began checking off the things he set his heart to do. Included on his list was a marvelous trip touring the New England area and feasting on fresh lobster. Another was a visit to Niagara Falls and just within a week of his passing, Joe visited Dodge City, Kansas. Sadly, Joe passed away after living his life so fully right up to the end. He will be deeply missed by many of those who had shared his amazing journey with him.
Joseph Dee Dekker, of Vicksburg passed away on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the age of 55. He is survived by his siblings: Jim (Jane) Dekker, of Otsego, Roger (Barb) Dekker, of Portage; Karen (John) Betts, of FL; John Dekker, of Vicksburg; Andrea Parker, of Vicksburg; brother-in-law: Ken DeDie and numerous nieces and nephews. Joe is preceded in death by his parents: Albert and Bella Dekker; brother, Albert Dekker; and sister, Stacy DeDie.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, from 5 to 6pm at Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). A memorial service will be held on Thursday at 6pm at the funeral home.
Please visit Joe’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign the guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make a contribution to Generous Hands.