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Dr. Denise Decker Obituary

Sadly, long-time friend and change-agent, Denise Decker, passed away on November 4, 2020. Denise was a member of the Partners International Board of Directors and a member of our District of Columbia and Virginia Chapters. Denise began her work with Partners of the Americas in the 1980s, when she was a Disaster Assistance Officer for USAID. She then held an International Fellowship with Partners in which she wrote and implemented workshops to teach independent living skills to people with disabilities living in Brasilia, Brazil. Partners then went on to use her workshop in eight other Latin American countries and awarded Dr. Decker the Program Development Award for her hard work and stunning contributions. If you would like to donate in Denise’s name, please include the note, “In Memory of Denise Decker” when you donate here. Please find testimonials by our International Board Members and Partners staff about Denise’s immense impact on Partners and the communities she served.

“I will treasure the time I had with her over these last two years on the board together and will always remember her kindness, her passion, and her commitment to giving all she had to serve others. Sending all my love and prayers to her family and everyone who knew and loved her dearly as we mourn her loss.” – Board Member

“I have been amazed at the ways she has improved life for people with disabilities in other countries (especially Brazil). She was fiercely independent, perhaps because she had to be. She was quite accomplished academically. To my knowledge, she has written at least two books. She was adventurous and loved to travel. She had no problem getting on planes and traveling the world with her guide dog! She loved her guide dogs, who often stole the show. She was a trusted friend and colleague who really cared about the welfare of others.” – Board Member

“I will always remind of the good talks we had and her kindness, polite attitudes, and soft voice.” – Board Member

” I’ll always remember her as the kind and positive soul she was. I’ll elevate a prayer for her and her family. She’ll always be present in our hearts.” – Board Member

“We have lost a fantastic friend and supporter for certain. She was someone who seemed to be able to accomplish anything that needed to be done and she would bring lots of others along with her because it was so delightful to work with Denise. I cannot imagine a person who did not admire Denise and appreciate having a relationship with her.” – Board Member

“Only rarely are we so fortunate to meet and know anyone as remarkable in so many ways as Denise.” – Board Legal Counsel

“[Denise] was such an understanding person, always gentle and clear in her thoughts and recommendations for Partners, which she loved dearly. And we also loved her dearly. She will live on in our memories.” – Former Board Member

“She was always so passionate about partners and positive about everything she did. Indeed she will be remembered fondly and happily by so many of us in Partners.” – Staff Member

“I’ve only worked with Denise for a short period of time, but that time together was so meaningful. I’m deeply saddened by this. She will certainly be missed.” – Staff Member

“Denise was such a warm presence and a kind soul. She was a grounding energy and so kind and compassionate to all. I will miss her.” – Staff Member

“[She] was very much admired and loved by her Partners family, as you can see from all our responses.” – Staff Member

“There are no words for this tragic loss, but Denise gave us the gift of sight, helping us to see more than we would have otherwise, in her love of life and working with others. Her vision and pursuit of justice and independence for the disabled inspired all everywhere she went.” – District of Columbia and Virginia Chapter Member

“She was both gentle and super smart, a wonderful presence at our Partner’s events, and a great supporter of our exchange program.” – District of Columbia Chapter Member

“She was a remarkable woman and I will always have treasured memories of my moments with her and Wonder.” – Virginia Chapter Member

“Denise was an amazing, special person, and we will all miss her very much.” – Virginia Chapter Member

We send love and peace to Denise’s family and friends.

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