by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (December 10, 2018) – When Lansing resident Owen Decking Sr. heard about the death of Former President George H. W. Bush, he felt the loss somewhat personally. He had corresponded with the president, and the notes and letters he received in reply were more than typical form letters.
Deckinga’s son, Owen Jr., an Illiana graduate, served in the Army as part of the White House Communications Agency. Owen Jr. is referenced in a letter that his father had framed and displays proudly in his home.
The letter reads as follows:
July 6, 1993
Dear Mr. Deckinga,
Your letter of June 15 was very kind and your words about my presidency most generous. My years in public service were the most rewarding of my life, and it was a great privilege to serve as President of the United States. As a private citizen, I now look forward to serving in other ways.
You have good reason to be proud of Owen. He and all the members of WHCA have been extremely helpful over the years, and I will be forever grateful to them. Owen was particularly of service to us when Barbara and I returned to Maine for the summer. As my staff can testify, we couldn’t have done it without him.
Thank you for your thoughtful letter.