Larry Edward Decker passed away Monday, April 23, 2012 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia from complications resulting in heart failure. He was born December 13, 1940 in Cottage Grove, Oregon to Edward and Lila Decker. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Donna Cowdin.
With Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Oregon and a Doctorate degree from Michigan State University, he began his professional career as Director of Community Education in St. Louis Park, Minnesota Public Schools. From 1973 to 1995 at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, he was the Director of the Center for Community Education and a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and in the last 8 years was the Associate Dean of UVA's Curry School of Education. From 1995 to 2007, he was the C. S. Mott Eminent Scholar in Community Education at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
In addition to teaching, he and his wife, Virginia (Gina), in a nearly 50 year collaborative partnership became leaders in the advocacy of Community Education, that included many books and articles which directly and indirectly influenced the spread of Community Education nationally and internationally. He received the National Community Education Association's Distinguished Service Award and was one of the initial inductees to the Association's Hall of Fame. He touched the lives of many people and will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia, son Weston Decker and wife Lisa, daughter Wendy Burton and husband Chuck, granddaughters Sierra Townsend, Charnyse and Charde' Burton, and sister Deanna Cartmill.