George M. Decell III

Published 9:23 pm Saturday, August 13, 2016

Memorial services for Col. George M. Decell III, United States Air Force, retired, were Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, at 5 p.m. at Charles W. Smith & Sons Funeral Home in McKinney, Texas, with burial today at 10 a.m. in the DFW National Cemetery located in Dallas.

Visitation was Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the funeral home.

Mr. Decell , 85 died Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, surrounded by his loving wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was born in Brookhaven to Edith C. Decell and George M. Decell Jr.

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Mr. Decell III was raised in Brookhaven, where he attended Brookhaven High School. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952 and graduated in 1956. Immediately upon graduation, he was appointed to the U.S. Air Force, and began his career as a fighter pilot. He served a tour in Vietnam and various other posts including faculty positions at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

He retired from active duty in 1986 to Brandon, Florida, where he dedicated most of his time to his family and any type of work to support his golf habit. He also loved to fish and hunt. He and his wife made a couple more moves, including Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, before settling in McKinney, Texas, close to many of their children. Throughout his life he was a man of faith with a strong commitment to the lord.

Preceding him in death in 1986 was his son, James William Decell.

Survivors are his wife of 60 years, Christina Ellen Decell; children, Cynthia L. Novella (Robert), Craig S. Decell (Marion), Damian L. Decell (Daniela), Renee E. Williams (Wiley) and Stacey A. Doby (Lance); 15 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at