He was born Aug. 10, 1945, in St. Paul, Minn., son of the late Walter and Elsie (Phillips) Decker. Cliff attended Ironwood, Mich., schools and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School with the class of 1963. He attended Gogebic Community College and the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he received a bachelor's degree in education. Cliff was employed as a teacher in Mellen and then in Hurley until retirement in 2000.
He enjoyed playing basketball and was on the Gogebic Community College team. Cliff also enjoyed fishing and spending time at the cottage on Pine Lake. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family and grandkids. He cherished his dog, Snickers.
On Jan. 21, 1967, he was married to the former Kathleen "Kay" O'Leary at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Ironwood. Kay preceded him in death on Jan. 11, 2008.
He is survived by two daughters, Sharon Decker, of St. Cloud, Minn., and Michelle (Jeremy) Leccia, of Somerset; three grandchildren, Trent Misuraco, of St. Cloud, and MyKenzie and Dylan Leccia, of Somerset; a brother, Walter (Karen) Decker, of Marshfield; sisters, Alice (Pete) Pertile, of Pine Lake, Kathy (Don) Pingel, of River Falls, and Margaret Jackson, of Ironwood; brothers-in-law, David O'Leary, Robert O'Leary and Lawrence Levra, all of Hurley, Raymond Oman, of Montreal, and Jim Palbrach, of Stevens Point; sisters-in-law, Patricia Sopko, of Covina, Calif., and Ruth Decker, of Baraga; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Besides his parents and wife, Kay, Cliff was preceded in death by a brother, William Decker; a sister, Elizabeth Palbrach; and sisters-in-law, Marilyn Alstead, Geri Levra and Joan Oman.
Cremation will take place at the Range Crematory in Hurley.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, April 26, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hurley. The Rev. Frank Kordek OFM will be the celebrant.
Cliff's family will receive relatives and friends from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass at the church on Saturday.