Ardis Ann Decker
July 21, 1948 - June 18, 2021
Ardis Ann Decker (formerly Middleton), 72, passed away in Phoenix, AZ on June 18, 2021 from complications of pancreatic cancer. She passed away peacefully at home with family by her side.
She was born to the late Raymond and Ardis Middleton on July 21, 1948 in Crosby, MN. Ardis and her siblings spent their childhood in Minnesota and Arizona. Ardis graduated from Bourgade Catholic High School in 1966 and from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Medical Technology in 1970. Ardis had a long, varied career as a medical technologist in hospital, pathology and physician's office and viral marker laboratories. She was a lifelong "student" who loved being in school. She earned her MPH in Epidemiology & Biostatistics from the University of Arizona in 1996 and became a Certified Clinical Research Professional in 2009. This career path led to her work on traumatic brain injury surveillance, clinical research with TGen, and as a cancer registrar/data analyst for the Arizona Cancer Registry where she was still working at the time of her death.
Ardis is survived by her daughters, Amy Decker-Haas (John Haas) of Phoenix and Denyse Decker (Thomas Lucas) of Chandler; grandsons Austin Decker, Hunter Haas and Brody Haas; siblings Theresa Decker (John) of Cope, CO, Charles Middleton of Durango, CO and Timothy Middleton (Katie) of Bayfield, CO; nephew Kelby Decker of Colorado and niece JonAnn Duffek (Jerod) of Kansas. She leaves behind many friends who will certainly miss her long (if sometimes infrequent) phone calls and chats about anything and everything.
Ardis was an adventurous spirit, but a loving homebody as well. She learned to ski in college for her PE credit and skied regularly while living in Durango, often heading to Purgatory to ski on a short workday. She became an avid scuba diver (including shark diving in the Bahamas), hiked extensively and enjoyed camping with family. She loved showing off her Girl Scout fire starting skills to her Boy Scout grandsons. Ardis enjoyed crafting and doing projects (especially school projects with Austin), baking and gardening. Her favorite holiday was Halloween, and the family has years of homemade costumes to prove it. Pumpkin carving was an annual tradition that rivaled the Christmas tree in importance. Ardis was strong willed and determined to better herself always. She was caring and generous with her time. She spent untold hours helping Austin & Hunter with their college coursework (as a smokescreen for brushing up on her own medical terminology).
We are forever grateful to have had her as our mother and grandmother. She leaves us with so many stories and things to laugh about that while we are heartbroken at her leaving us, we know she will be well remembered, and her legacy lives on in the stories people will tell about her.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 16 at 10:00 AM at Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary and Cemetery, 6500 E. Bell Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to Hospice of the Valley. https://hov.org/donate/
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A memorial service and celebration of life will be scheduled in the early fall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice of the Valley. hov.org/donate/