1955 Rosie Dorothy Decker Walter, 86, of Roseburg, Ore., died Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011.
Rosie Dorothy Decker Walter was born March 17, 1924, at Carpenter, S.D., to David and Anna Decker. On March 28, 1945, she was united in marriage to Johnnie Walter at Bethel Mennonite Church in Yale, S.D. Three months after their marriage, Johnnie was drafted into the U.S. Marines. Rosie followed him while he was stationed in Bremerton, Wash., and later to California.
When he was discharged from the Marines, they began farming near their parents in South Dakota. In the spring of 1954, Rosie began teaching in a one room school near their home while Johnnie moved to Omaha, Neb., to attend Grace Bible Institute. Rosie and their two oldest children, Julia and Harvey, moved in with her parents until the end of her school term. In August 1954 the family was reunited in Omaha.
Just weeks after the move, the home they had been living in with her parents burned to the ground during the night. Rosie’s parents and her youngest brother, Arlan, died in the fire. Instead of growing bitter with the tragedies of her life, Rosie chose to trust God and live for others.
Shortly before Johnnie graduated from college, they had a third son, Jerroll. After graduation the young family moved to Arena, N.D., where Johnnie pastored Zion Mennonite Church. In 1964 they moved to Herreid, S.D., and pastored the Evangelical United Brethren churches in Herreid and Artas. Rosie pulled out her secretarial skills again and worked as an administrative assistant at the hospital in Herreid.
In December 1967 they moved to Stanton, Neb., to pastor the Stanton Evangelical Free Church. Rosie heard about that denomination’s youth quizzing program and formed a Bible Quiz Team. That summer, with only seven members, Rosie’s team took second place at the National Bible Quiz in Chicago, competing against churches with several thousand members. Rosie kept working and the next year in New Jersey her team took first place and the next year they got second. This accomplishment was one of Rosie’s favorite. She worked as the medicine aide at the Stanton Nursing Home for 19 years. They moved in Milford, Neb., which was home for 22 years. Three years ago they moved to Roseburg to live near their daughter. Rosie was a fantastic mom, daughter, sister and grandmother.
She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Arlan and Delbert; all her uncles and aunts except for her beloved Aunt Suzanne. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Johnnie; a daughter, Julia (David) Ewert of Roseburg; two sons, Harvey of Roseburg and Jerroll (Karen) of Liberal, Kan.; five grandchildren, Jennifer (Dirk), Michelle, Ian, Justin (Amber) and Kristen; three great-grandchildren, Jashton, Tobiah and Corban and one to be born this month; a brother, Waldo Decker of Huron, S.D.; and an aunt, Suzanne Tschetter of Huron.
Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. March 19, 2011, at Mount Olivet Church in Huron. Interment will be in Hutterthal Cemetery at Carpenter.
Memorials may be sent to New Hope Church or Nehalem Renewal Ministries.