Lewis G. Decker
Fulton County Historian

Died May 24, 2000
Age 66


There is a unique difference among historians.  Some simply believe they are a historian from the knowledge they have obtained.  Some historians are hesitant to share their wealth of information.  But there are those who not only share and preserve history, but create it in the process.  Lewis G. Decker was one such individual who did indeed accomplish both.

As a historian, Lewis Decker's high standards led to the undertaking of major projects.   In 1978/79, with the assistance of a grant for which he applied for and which was accepted by the C. E. T. A., he and a group of volunteers went throughout Fulton County recording, restoring and cleaning graveyards and stones.  These cemetery books are now easily accessible for any researcher.

He was involved in countless local historical projects, such as the Bicentennial Committee project for Fulton County.  He was an author and published several articles locally in the newspapers about local history and other books.  Most recently, he participated in the series of "Images of America".  He published the pictorial book on the history of Gloversville, true to his heart, a native of Gloversville himself.  Mr. Decker was a historian to set example; one to lead, not to follow.

He was well known within the historical community, not only as a historian, but he also participated and belonged to many historical groups.  Over the years, he was a member of the reenacted 3rd Tryon County Militia, G. A. R. and many other organizations within Fulton County.  He represented not only the community but the individual as well.  Through his efforts we know more about each man, woman or child who made history in Fulton County rather than to have their accomplishments remain silent.

He was recently awarded through the Gen. Richard Montgomery Chapter of  D. A. R., the History Award Medal, which is the most prestigious award recognized from the D. A. R..  The nominees must have shown selfless dedication and outstanding contributions to the field of history.  Only seven were awarded this year throughout the nation, Mr. Decker being one of the seven.  Mr. Decker's distinguished acts led to such a deserved honor, as D. A. R. commented that he has made "...significant contributions to the study and promotion of American History".

He is to many, a selfless man, who shares his knowledge, experience and his pride in the people of Fulton County, which is shown throughout his lifetime work.  It is without doubt that the people of Fulton owe him so much for his generosity.  It is also without doubt that Lewis G. Decker will not only be highly remembered and regarded, but he will also be greatly missed.


The following is his obituary posted in the Schenectady Gazette on Thursday, May 25:



Lewis G. Decker, 66, of Gloversville, died Wednesday at Amsterdam Memorial Hospital after a short illness.

Born in Gloversville, Mr. Decker was a lifelong area resident.  He graduated from Northville High School in 1953.

He received a bachelor's degree from Empire State College.

Mr. Decker worked for the state Department of Environmental Conservation for many years, retiring in 1991.

He became deputy county historian in 1970 and was appointed County Historian in 1985.  He also served as Gloversville City Historian for 15 years.

He was an Army veteran.

Survivors include his wife, Marjorie Bergman Decker, whom he married Dec. 23, 1953; two sons, Randy L. and Lewis G. Decker Jr., both of Gloversville; and four grandchildren.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Hollenbeck Funeral Home, 4 Second Ave.   Burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bon Car Museum, City Hall, Frontage Road, Gloversville.

Special thanks to Jill Collins who sent in the transcribed obituary above and informed us of the loss of Mr. Decker.


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Copyright 2000, Jeanette Shiel
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Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:09:21 PDT