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Robert “Papa Deck” Decker


Robert “Papa Deck” Decker, 86, of Atwater, passed away Saturday morning, Aug. 12, 2023 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

Bob was born on May 4, 1937 to Dan and Laura (Smith) Decker-Rockhold in Wilmington.

He married Margaret Crouch October 27th, 1961 at the Atwater Christian Church.

Bob started doing what he loved in 1958, training and driving Standardbred horses.  He owned and operated Decker Racing Stables in Atwater.  He held numerous track records at many county fairs over his lifetime.  He was a member of the Illinois Harness Horseman’s Association and the US Trotting Association.

Robert is survived by his wife of 61 years, Margaret; daughters, Dianna (Roger Waddell) Winlund of Henry, Jodi (Matt) Bennett of Atwater; son, Wayne Decker of Carlinville; grandsons, Ben (Melissa) Rodriguez, Tommy (Julie) Winlund, Kenneth Winlund, Addison Decker, Dylan Bennett, Landon Cox; granddaughters, Shelbye (Dustin Underwood) Decker, Brittaney (Tony McCauley) Decker, Mikel (Andrew Cooper) Decker, Lissa Bennett; great-grandsons, Alex Rodriguez, Robert Underwood; great-granddaughters, Micaela Rodriguez and Hazel Cooper

In addition to his biological children,  he had the honor of being “Dad” to many others, including Lee “Suds” Rodgers, Vicky Bregen, the late Keith Waddell, and Mike “Mikey” Rodgers.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Laura Decker-Rockhold; son, Tom Decker; son-in-law, Robert Winlund and nine brothers and sisters.

Robert wished for no funeral services and the family will respect those wishes. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Memorials are suggested to the Decker family, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Carlinville, or Macoupin County Fair.

Davis-Anderson Funeral Home in Carlinville is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences can be given at