Roseda Decker of Anderson passed away peacefully in her sleep on Aug. 15, 2017.
She was born July 3, 1915, in Tonkawa, Okla., the second daughter of Andrew C. and Emma (Sickert) Koelling. She graduated from Fountain School, Tonkawa High School, University Junior College at Tonkawa and the University of Oklahoma (1937) where was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, and Pi Zeta Kappa. honoraries. She was the first in her family to earn a bachelor's degree.
Fulfilling a promise to her father, Roseda taught English at Blackwell High School for one year before she married James L. Doenges, M.D. also of Tonkawa, Okla., in 1938. They moved to Detroit, Mich., where she was a substitute teacher in the Detroit Public Schools and secretary to a neuropathologist at Wayne University School of Medicine and James until James accepted a position as the medical director/chief surgeon on the Firestone Plantation in Liberia, West Africa.
Roseda and James lived on the Firestone Rubber Plantation in Liberia, during World War II (1941-1944) where Dr. Doenges served as the plantation's chief surgeon. While in Liberia, Roseda was the executive secretary to the general manager of Firestone
Upon returning to the United States, Roseda and James came to Anderson in 1944, where they raised their three children and became very involved in the community. Roseda was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and a member and president of the Madison County Medical Auxiliary. She was a member of Over the Teacups Club, Pink Ladies of Community Hospital, Town and Gown, Hawthorne Club and Anderson Country Club. She was also a life member of the Community Hospital Women's Auxiliary. Shortly after being widowed in 1973, she became a founding board member of the Liberty Fund of Indianapolis, an educational operating foundation, and continued as an active board member until 2010, when she was named director emeritus.
In 1976,Roseda married Wilbur R. "Pick" Martin, who died in 1990. They shared a love for classical music, enjoyed traveling and entertaining family and friends. Although he couldn't "read" music, Pick played the piano beautifully.
In 1994, she married Philip H. Decker. Phil and Roseda lived in Anderson, while spending their winters first in Key Biscayne, Fla., and then in Naples, Fla., at the Wilderness Country Club, a second home they both loved. Phil and Roseda brought great happiness to each other's lives and together they welcomed 10 great-grandchildren to their combined family. Following Phil's death in 2010, Roseda continued to live in her home in Anderson.
Roseda was an avid gardener. She loved to read and to listen to classical music. The four themes of Roseda's life were family, church, friends and education. She will be remembered by her family and friends for her elegance, kindness, commitment and generosity.
Roseda is survived by her loving children, Jama (Bob) Roman of Toledo, Ohio; Jean (Dr. Tom) Merrick of Denver, Colo., and Jim Doenges of Ravenel, S.C.; grandchildren, Bob (Sarah) Roman of Lakewood, Colo., Kristin Roman (Christian Fromhertz) of Hoboken, N.J., and Rachel (James) Cox of Oxford, Miss. Other survivors are stepchildren, Phil (Judy) Decker of Anderson, Ind., and Lisa (Pen) Cosby of Key Biscayne, Fla.; stepgrandchildren, Denise (Matt) Krumel and Andi (Greg) Tye of Perrysburg, Ohio, PG (Erin) Decker of Robins, Iowa, Phoebe (Todd) Nicholson of Tampa, Fla., Lucinda "Lulu" (Tom) Lapp and Melissa "ML" Cosby of Indianapolis. Also surviving are 14 great-grandchildren, Silas, Molly and Ford Roman, Kara, Haley and Makenna Krumel, Noah and Spencer Tye, Abigail and Megan Decker, Mara and Jack Nicholson, and Tommy and Philip Lapp. Numerous nephews, nieces and friends also survive.
In addition to her parents, A.C. and Emma Koelling, and her three husbands, James Doenges, "Pick" Martin and Phil Decker, Roseda was predeceased by her sister, Marjorie Koelling Legg; and her daughter-in-law, Rebecca (Becky)Snyder Doenges.
Roseda's family especially wishes to thank her caregivers, Chasey Howells, Todd Cravens, Terry Smith, Terry Vaughn, and the wonderful staff of Hospice and Home Care. Their loving care and concern for Roseda in the last years of her life brought her immeasurable joy and happiness. The family will be forever grateful to them. Roseda is also survived by her beloved and devoted rescue Chihuahua, Gracie.
Roseda will be laid to rest in a private family burial service officiated by Dr. Karen Shylo at East Maplewood Cemetery in Anderson.
Friends are invited to join the family at a memorial reception to be held Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, at 3 p.m. at the Anderson Country Club, 602 North Shore Blvd.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Rozelle Johnson Funeral Home.
Those wishing to make a donation in Roseda's memory are asked to consider one of her favorite charities, The Christian Center, 625 Main St., Anderson, IN 46016.
Post online condolences at www.rozelle-johnson.com.
Published on August 17, 2017