John Dekker, 91, was born and raised in Lansing on a farm at the south end of town, the oldest of seven kids. He remained in Lansing throughout his life and raised his own family there, as well.
He attended Munster Christian School through the eighth grade and spent his teen years working on the family farm. Dekker worked as a carpenter and later was a self-employed egg man. Dekker and his brothers went into business providing eggs to both commercial and residential customers.
While his brothers did more of the commercial routes in Chicago, Dekker delivered mostly to residential customers on routes throughout the Calumet region.
A decorated World War II veteran, Dekker served in the Army as a medical tech from 1943 to 1946, primarily serving in Central Europe. He earned three overseas service bars, American campaign medal, European African Middle Eastern campaign medal with one Bronze Battle Star, along with a Good Conduct and World War II Victory medal.
On May 26, 1951, he married Jean Margaret Klein and the couple had two daughters, Marlene and Nancy. The two enjoyed 58 years of marriage together before his wife died in 2009.
“I have many special memories, but the one thing my dad could do was tell a story,” said his daughter Marlene Nicksic. “He had a great memory for details, like it was yesterday. He had a sharp mind until the end.”
Dekker was a lifetime member of the Munster Christian Reformed Church.
“He was a good, honest, hard-working man and a good Christian,” said his daughter.