Rita M. (Backes) Decker, age 90, of Dubuque, passed away at 3:52 a.m. on Friday, January 22, 2021, at home surrounded by her loving family.

To celebrate Rita’s life, private family services were held at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street. The service will be available for viewing on the Behr Funeral Home Facebook page today. Entombment will be in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery Mausoleum.

Rita was born on December 5, 1930, in Dubuque, Iowa, daughter of Leo and Mathilda (Pfohl) Backes.

Rita graduated from Visitation Academy and went on to L.P.N. Nursing school. After finishing her training, Rita went to work as a nurse supervisor with Bethany Home for 11 years. She also did in-home health care for several families.

Rita was never one to sit still. She was a talented seamstress and made several beautiful embroidery pieces for her family and friends.

Rita enjoyed planting a big garden and would can her harvest to use in the kitchen throughout the year. Much to her family’s delight, Rita was an excellent chef and baker. She was well known for her meticulous housekeeping and her love of reading and playing cards.

Rita enjoyed traveling, and cruises to the Carribean quickly became her vacation of choice.

Rita was a very social person and also had a great love of animals, especially her cats and little Pekingese dogs.

She was a member of St. Joseph the Worker Church and the Dominic Club for several years.

Her family was the most important aspect of Rita’s life. She was always very interested in what everyone was up to and would check in with them daily.

Rita was truly one of a kind and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Those left to cherish Rita’s memory include her children, Leonard (Libby) Decker, Dubuque, IA, Janaan (Glenn) Anderson, Holland, MI, Wayne (Penny) Decker, Waterloo, IA, Nancy (Larry) Thompson, Portland, OR, Judy (Bob) Ward, Marion, IA, Debbie Kirby, Rifle, CO, Barb (Jeremy) Kass, Bellevue, IA, Tina (David) Ries, Monticello, IA, and Roger (Celia Bullington) Decker, Yuma, AZ; her 12 grandchildren; her 15 great-grandchildren; and her brothers, Raymond (Elaine) Backes, Dubuque, IA, and Lee (Nancy Gollmer) Backes Jr., Milwaukee, WI.

Rita was preceded in death by her parents; a granddaughter, Karla Dolphin; a son-in-law, Donnie Kirby; and a sister-in-law, Mary Backes.

Rita’s family would like to thank Dr. Cao, the nurses and staff of Hospice of Dubuque, and all of the staff members of The Rose, for all of their kind, compassionate and loving care of Rita and her family.

The family will thankfully receive your support through phone calls, greeting cards and memorials in Rita’s memory which may be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, Attn. Rita Decker Family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.behrfuneralhome.com.

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