Jo Ann Dunman Decker, age 85, died from natural causes on May 4, 2020. She peacefully died in her sleep at home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jo Ann was born on April 18, 1935 in Elkhorn, West Virginia to Preston Banner Dunman and Margaret Nora Henderson Dunman. She adored her parents and two sisters, Eileen and Sue. She frequently reminisced about her family and extended family, including visits as a youth to her grandparents and cousins in the Virginia countryside.

See 2 Photos

Her mother told her she should join a church. Jo Ann became acquainted with a member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints in her class at Elkhorn High School and later joined the church. She was baptized July 20, 1952 at the age of 17 in the Greenbrier River at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. After high school she attended National Business College in Roanoke, Virginia and in the church branch there became acquainted with Javotte Turner who introduced her to her future husband, Don Lee Decker, an Army serviceman from Manti, Utah stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.

Jo Ann and Lee met in Durham, North Carolina and later married on September 19, 1955 in the Manti Temple. They had two children, Linda and Larry. Jo Ann worked for many years as a secretary part-time for Gordon Christensen, a life insurance agent, and later at the New England agency in Salt Lake City. Active in the church, she served as both Primary and Relief Society president in the LeGrand Ward and as stake Relief Society president in the Salt Lake Park Stake. Also, she served as a Primary and Young Women teacher and a counselor the stake Primary presidency. She loved watching church general conference and listening to the Tabernacle Choir and found great fulfillment in her associations in the church where she made many dear friends. As a devoted wife and mother, she untiringly provided for a safe and loving home. Her children benefited from her wise counsel and always listening ear. She undeviatingly focused on the special needs of Linda.

Jo Ann consistently found loving companionship with family members, nieces and nephews in Utah and for many years cooked a delicious and always memorable Christmas Eve dinner for close and extended family. She looked forward to trips “back to my home” in the East where she visited her sisters and niece, Kerry, and nephew, Billy. She took other vacations with Lee and family members. She greatly mourned the loss of Lee in 2014 and anticipated a reunion with him upon her passing. We thank Joyce Decker for visiting mom and Linda most every afternoon for the past several months in thoughtful service. In addition, neighbors and members of the 31st Ward so thoughtfully helped in many ways.

Jo Ann is survived by her daughter Linda Decker, of Salt Lake City, and son, Larry Decker, of Taylorsville. She is also survived by her sister, Alice Sue (Sue) Goodwin, of Roanoke, Virginia. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee, sister, Eileen, and parents, Preston and Margaret Dunman.

Friends and family are invited to a viewing for Jo Ann at the Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, on Monday May 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions we will not hold a funeral. There will instead be a private graveside service. Interment at the Memorial Lake Hills Cemetery, 10055 South State Street, in Sandy, Utah.


Services Handled By

Larkin Mortuary
260 E South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

May 07, 2020

Personal Info


Concerned about this Life Story? Please let us know.
NEXT Ramon Rivera Ramon Rivera