May Decker celebrated her 100th birthday May 1 at Windsor Estates surrounded by friends. The nursing home brought Decker a cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to her as she enjoyed a cold glass of sparkling cider.

May Decker celebrated her 100th birthday May 1 at Windsor Estates surrounded by friends. The nursing home brought Decker a cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to her as she enjoyed a cold glass of sparkling cider.

Decker spent the majority of her professional career as a lady tailor in New Jersey. Her father, Claus Schmidt, died when Decker was a young girl. She says this put much responsibility in her hands as a young girl. She eventually was able to open her own tailoring and cleaning shop called “May’s Cleaners” where she would work for nearly 20 years. 

Decker lived much of her life in Kansas City, though graduated at the age of 14 from California, Missouri. She moved to the state of New Jersey and worked in her shop until she retired from the profession around the age of 50. During this time, she and her husband Jewell Decker decided to move to Camdenton and enjoy their time at the lake. 

The two never had any children, which is one of the reasons Decker says she was able to live so long. She also claims that going to bed early every night and maintaining a healthy diet contributed to this cause. 

Since moving to Camdenton, Decker took a large role in the Community Christian Church, where she sewed and helped design costumes for productions. On the side, she created quilts for family and friends. This sewing work led her to meet Cindy Waters, who has remained a  friend to this day. Waters says Decker is the only remaining member of a church group that would help her package and mail the newsletter around town. 

“May has been a great friend ever since I met her at the church,” Waters said.

Decker is proud of the hard work and success she had as a young woman and has had an exciting life. She hopes for her birthday to get a big slice of pie or even a cut of angel food cake, her two favorites.