Cheryl Lea Decker – Winthrop

Cheryl Lea Decker, 69, formerly of Winthrop, Iowa, died on Thursday morning, May 20, 2021 at Pinnacle Specialty Care in Cedar Falls of natural causes.

Mass of Christian Burial: 10:30 A.M. Monday, May 24, 2021 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Winthrop, Iowa, with Rev. David Beckman officiating.
Visitation: 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. on Sunday and from 9:30 to 10:00 A.M. on Monday at Fawcett-Schmitz Funeral Home in Winthrop.
Interment: St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery, Winthrop, Iowa.
Condolences, memorials and checks may be directed to Roger Decker, 615 2nd Street South, Winthrop, Iowa 50682.
Online obituary at www.jamisonschmitzfuneralhome.com
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, masks and social distancing are requested.

She was born on March 19, 1952, in Buchanan County, Iowa, the daughter of Max & Eunice (Franck) Decker. She grew up on a family dairy farm with thirteen brothers and sisters. Cheryl practiced her faith at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Winthrop.

After graduating from East Buchanan High School in 1970, she attended Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, majoring in Elementary Education and Art, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.

Cheryl taught fourth graders at East Buchanan for 33 years, first in Quasqueton and later in Winthrop. One of Cheryl’s favorite aspects of teaching was designing units for her pupils, one example was reading the Little House on the Prairie book series, culminating with a re-enactment of those times. Cheryl’s students were afforded the opportunity to participate in creative and fun learning units. The use of art was always in view in her classroom. Serving as an assistant coach with the girls’ junior high basketball team was a challenge Cheryl enjoyed immensely.

Cheryl’s life evolved around her family and friends, whether being an excellent baby-sitter, teaching Catechism, mentoring, family sports participant, or being a clever card partner. In her later years, she was a breast cancer survivor and continued to observe and take pride in her pupils becoming responsible citizens of the community. She lived nearly seven years at Prairie Hills Assisted Living in Independence.

Throughout her life, she was a great storyteller, New York Yankee fan, devoted teacher, daughter, sister, aunt, great aunt, friend and neighbor.

She is lovingly survived by five sisters: Katha Williams of Waterloo, Judy (Larry) Hayes of Ankeny, Diane Schuler of Independence, Brenda (Don) Beierschmitt of Jesup and Dawn Decker of Ankeny; two brothers: Roger (Mary Jo) Decker and Craig (Linda) Decker both of Winthrop; 30 nephews and nieces, many great and great-great nephews and nieces.

Cheryl was preceded in death by her parents, five brothers: Judd, Bob, Duane, Kent and Bruce and one sister: Carol Ann Decker.

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