Volunteer Brings Good Spirits To Every Activity

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

Donna Silver waits as Chris Decker pours her a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the Payson Regional Medical Center lobby.

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

Chris Decker

Chris Decker is a California transplant to the Mogollon Rim via Montana.

She and her husband left the rat race for the quiet solitude of Big Sky Country, but after eight years, the winters were getting too harsh.

“A friend told us about Payson and its four seasons and mountains,” she said.

She and her husband Art moved to Payson in 2006 and almost immediately, they both became involved in volunteer work.

“I had talked about volunteering with the hospital and library for years in Montana, but never did,” Decker said.

Her husband is very active with the Gila County Sheriff’s Posse, she said.

Decker works at the reception desk in the main lobby at PRMC. She finds the work very rewarding — offering assistance to people. She is especially fond of her fellow auxiliary members and the personnel at the registration desk.

“I love working with the registration staff. They’re really great and I have gotten to know them very well.”

Her volunteer work at the library is mostly at the check-in desk, though she also does some computer work and occasionally helps with shelving the books.

“It’s a great way to find out what movies are good. If I have a chance, I will ask people returning movies if they were any good. If they say it wasn’t, I’ll skip it.”

She said the people at the library are great fun.

Decker said if someone is interested in volunteering, they have to like people.

“You have to enjoy it. You’re the first person people see. Greet them with a smile and ask how you can help them,” she advises.

There are other opportunities for volunteers who are less comfortable working with the public, she said.

“There is filing and things like that. I love to visit, that would make me crazy. But it suits some people.”

When she isn’t volunteering or reading or knitting, Decker enjoys her newest family member, Alie, a 15-month-old Lab puppy.

PROFILE

Name: Chris Decker

Hometown: Arcadia, Calif.

Age: 69

Occupation: retired from banking; volunteer with Payson Regional Medical Center and Payson Public Library

When did you move to Payson and what brought you here? June 2006; we were in Montana for 8 years, but I couldn’t handle the winders; a friend told them about Payson, its four seasons and its location in the mountains.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken recently? I have taken on a new job with the hospital auxiliary, serving as its hospitality chairman.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? When I started in banking management, I was told, ‘Whatever you bring to the office will be reflected by your staff’ — I’ve tried to live by that.

Three things you want people to know about you: I dearly love my family; I’ve had to leave some dear friends in Montana; I love to knit and read.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be in banking. College wasn’t what I wanted. While I was in high school they had a program where you could work in the afternoons and I really wanted to get out of school, so I went to work in a bank at its switchboard — I was too young to handle money.

Favorites

Book: Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and lately J.D. Robb’s works

Song/Type of Music: country western music and “I’m a huge Neil Diamond fan. While I lived in California, I went to every concert he presented in the state.”

Food: steak and Mexican food

Sport to watch: football — I’ve been a Green Bay fan for years and I’m building a relationship with the Cardinals; basketball — the Lakers; and the Dodgers

Vacation spot: Hawaii and cruising in Alaska

Recreational activity: reading

Movie: “Pretty Woman” — and as soon as I can get it, “Mamma Mia!”

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