Monday, September 5, 2022

M. Kathleen “Kathy” Decker, 87

Wellsville, NY - M. Kathleen “Kathy” Decker, 87, of 39 East Fassett Street passed away Sunday evening September 4, 2022 at the Hart Comfort House in Wellsville. Kathy was born March 16, 1935 in Corning, NY the daughter of  Richard A. and Kathryn R. (Kieff) O’Brien of Greenwood, NY

Kathy was a 1953 graduate of Greenwood High School and went on to St. James Mercy School of Nursing graduating in 1956, and Syracuse University to attain her Bachelors in Nursing in 1960, later achieving her Masters Degree from Alfred University in 1981. Kathy loved nursing and teaching nursing. After working at Upstate Medical in Syracuse Kathleen moved back to Hornell to work as a Supervisor and Instructor for St James Mercy Hospital. It was while working there she met her loving husband Paul B. Decker a Beautician in Wellsville. They married on May 12, 1962 at St Ignatius Church in Hornell.

She continued to work as a nurse full time while starting her family with Paul, and then began her illustrious career at Alfred State College School of Nursing in 1970. She trained over a thousand nursing students during her 23-year tenure. After retiring from Alfred she continued to fulfill her desire to help others, working part-time for Dr. Felsen, the Wellsville Medical Transport Services, and per diem at Jones Memorial ICU.

Kathy was a wonderful mother of 6 children, “Her greatest pride and joy, all giving something to society”; Dr. Martin Decker of Meadville PA, his wife  Amy and three children, Maria Rog of Poquoson VA, her husband Doug and two children, Libby Carteret of Yorktown VA, her husband Mike and one Child, Kert Decker of Alfred, Katrina Pohlman of East Amherst and three children, and Brian Decker of Greenwood. She was a loving sister to Richard O’Brien of Ohio, Kevin O’Brien of Greenwood, Kerry O’Brien of Greenwood, and a very special sister Laurie O’Brien of Naples NY. Kathy was blessed with 12 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

She was an active parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church as a lector, a coordinator for several major fundraisers, and a member of the Parish Council. Kathy was an avid gardener with her beautiful flower beds and vegetable gardens. She loved playing bridge with friends, and spending time at her summerhouse in the country.

Friends are invited to call on Friday, September 9 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at J. W. Embser and Sons Funeral Home Inc, 34 W. State St. Wellsville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, September 10 at 11:00 am in Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to the Hart Comfort House or Immaculate Conception Church. To leave online condolences, please visit


  1. Kathleen was a lovely lady to the end. It was a privilege to care for her. She will be remembered! She loved her children beyond measure and was very happy to see them and have them with her. Her love and compassion for others was amazing. She left a deep impression on my heart. She was an Angel here on earth, so we know she is in heaven now.
    I wish her family peace and comfort.
    Marlee Cannon

  2. I remember spending a lot of time in the Decker home what a wonderful woman she was she will be truly missed

  3. I was one of the nursing students privileged to have had Kathy as my professor and my clinical instructor. She was the very best of the best. She was always so wise and patient and she loved her students. She told me once that she believed “the reason there were semesters in college was because she needed time to grieve her students moving on so she would be ready for the new ones who came in next!” I also remember her unique humor that she would interlace into her lectures. When studying the pulmonary system I was struggling and I went to her with questions. I’ll always remember her saying “oh I just wish I could open up the tops of my students heads and just pour in the knowledge!” My deepest sympathies to the Decker family, may your hearts be filled with peace and comfort. And My sincerest gratitude to you for sharing her with all of us who were blessed by having had her in our lives.

  4. Kathy was an amazing colleague and friend at ASC for many years. She served as a mentor for hundreds of students and faculty members who looked to her for leadership, wisdom, and a keen insight into 'what should be done.' My thoughts are with the Decker family at this very difficult time.

  5. Kathy Decker and I joined the Alfred State faculty the same year. We often interacted since her nursing students were often enrolled in my psychology classes. Kathy's reputation was that of being a superb teacher and I enjoyed working with her on a variety of college committees.

    Kathy's nursing students will be carrying on her legacy of caring for many years. My thoughts are with all the members of the Decker family at this difficult time.