David Decker

Obituary of David Alan Decker



September 6, 1951

January 25, 2023



A good man has died, too soon.


Our dear, sweet David passed away on a winter’s afternoon in his wife’s embrace after a lengthy illness resulting from a cardiac arrest in March, 2022. Throughout the past year, his innumerable friends and colleagues have generously shared wonderful memories and tributes to a man they described as infinitely kind, generous, funny, fiercely intelligent, endlessly curious, and always humble.


How could we not deeply love such a man? He will be profoundly missed by many, including the love of his life, his wife, Deborah Danis; his brother, Mark Decker; and his children, whom he adored, Dr. Alexandra Decker and Colin Decker. He is predeceased by his sister, Libby Decker; his father, David Decker; and, most recently, his mother, Mary Willoughby.


David was born and raised in Toronto, a childhood he described as idyllic, with summers at their Muskoka cottage and endless hockey games throughout the winter. He had the good fortune to attend the University of Toronto Schools (UTS), which ignited his love of learning and set the foundation for friendships that have lasted a lifetime. His nickname, “Ace”, was a reference to his ability to always ace exams! While attending Queen’s University, where he did both his undergraduate and law degrees, he worked at mines situated in Elliott Lake and in the Yukon. He also enjoyed summers working at Camp Ahmek in Algonquin Park, where he honed his canoeing skills and nurtured his love of nature.


A partner with Beard Winter LLP, David practiced commercial and general litigation for more than 40 years. A life-long learner, he also completed his master's degree in banking and financial services law at Osgood Hall Law School. He was highly respected by his professional colleagues and clients, and served on the executive of the Civil Litigation Section, Ontario Bar Association for several years. He worked with integrity, frequently supporting those who were unable to secure professional legal services. As one colleague said: “David always did the right thing”.


David loved to travel and, in recent years, he and Deb explored a number of countries, including France, Ireland, and Greece and spent many fun-filled times with friends in St. Martin. Amongst David’s happiest times, were those hiking on the Bruce Trail, cottaging on Colpoy’s Bay, and barbequing delicious meals for friends at home. With a glass of red wine, and a good Cuban cigar, surrounded by friends and family, he often commented on how lucky he was to have such a good life.


A special note of appreciation to the medical team at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the staff at the Sunnybrook Transition Care Centre, who cared for David during the past several months. A special thanks to nurse-practitioner, Jennifer Martin, and the nursing staff who demonstrated not only professional excellence but unceasing care and sensitivity.


A funeral service will be held at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, Toronto on Thursday, February 9th at 11:00 a.m.


In lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made to the Sunnybrook Foundation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, or the Bruce Trail Conservancy. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.


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