Leslie Edward Decker
1930 – 2009
LEWISTON — Dr. Leslie Edward Decker, 79, of Salem, died July 4, at the Central Maine Medical Center.
He was born, Leslie Edward Nutting, June 14, 1930, in Wellington, to Cecil Ross Nutting and Velma Nellie (Pushor) Nutting. Cecil died during 1937 leaving Velma to later marry Laurence Franklin Decker of Clinton.
Les attended public schools in Maine, New York and Virginia, and graduated from Clinton High School in 1946.
He married Eva Wildes of Portland on Sept. 11, 1948, and graduated with distinction from the University of Maine in 1951. He earned advance degrees in history from Oklahoma State and Cornell University, where he earned his doctorate in 1961.
During the next 24 years, he taught at universities in Maine, New York and Oregon. He published Railroads, lands and Politics during 1964, and went on to co-author and co-edit many other textbooks and works of distinction. A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis forced him to retire in 1975.
He and Eva returned to Salem in 1975, where they had previously established a home during 1958. They renewed their wedding vows and joined the Salem United Methodist Church in 1978. They also volunteered at the Economic Ministry for many years.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Eva; his sister, Bette Marshall; his brother, Robert Decker; two children, Margurite and Laurence; 11 grandchildren; 25 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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