A baby-boomer born in Moscow, Idaho in 1946, Carolyn lived in the Pacific Northwest through the early years of her childhood. Her father held several jobs in the post-war years, eventually entering the management track of a retail company. This led to frequent moves for the family. The family eventually settled in Spokane, Washington, where Carolyn graduated from high school (1964) and college (Whitworth, 1968).
After three years of teaching middle-school English, Carolyn married the late John Deckenback, (1971) and moved to Berkeley, California, where John was in his final year of seminary at Pacific School of Religion. Carolyn entered PSR following John’s graduation and received her MDiv in 1975. She served as CAPSR president, as well as on multiple boards and committees at PSR and the GTU. Her first call was to serve as the Associate Minister at First Congregational UCC in Palo Alto, where she was installed as their first female pastor, a position she held for four years.
Their two sons, Jeffry and Aaron, were born in Menlo Park, and frequently accompanied Carolyn as she served in a number of congregations as interim minister. When John was called as Conference Minister of Central Atlantic Conference in 1992, Carolyn continued to serve in an interim capacity in congregations throughout Catoctin and Potomac Associations. In 2001, she was called to serve as Pastor at United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley in Germantown, Maryland, retiring October 2014.
Carolyn and John were pleased to welcome daughters-in-law Emily (Jeffry) and Kate (Aaron), and loved the addition of grandsons Will, Charlie, and John, and granddaughter Lillian to the family. Carolyn continues to live in Frederick, where she and John made their home, and is active in the local UCC church.