Thu 21 Feb 2013
God called another great man from the bullpen and I am sad. Paul Decker is dead at age 75.
I never met Paul, only spoke to him on the phone a couple of times, but I was a huge fan of his work. Paul lived in Portland, Oregon, and was married to the lovely Kitty O’Keefe, a financial guru who I got to know when she hunted heads in advertising.
Paul was an adman in the tradition of gadflies like Howard Gossage. An interesting man with a bouquet of varied interests. He was a terrific copywriter, creative director, producer. He once wrote a brochure for a fictitious multi-national ad agency called “Mammoth, Pervasive and Bland” as a promo piece for L.A.’s keye/donna/pearlstein. I remember straining my eyes to read his brilliant copy when it was reproduced in ad award show books.
Paul had many other interests: he DJ-ed a jazz program on a public radio station in Portland, developed radio acting classes for a high school, created animated film projects and was working on a reality TV show featuring the music and food of New Orleans. These are just some of his Cliff notes.
But his real genius was evidenced by his creation of Modern Meats, a company that allegedly manufactured tasty meat (and meat-like) creations. Paul wrote hilarious company newsletters and product announcements with wit as dry as a turtle’s tongue in the Sahara.
Paul Decker was a true humorist, a spark for a world that desperately needs more fire. He will be missed, but I’m sure many memories of the joy Paul spread to others will be served along with Modern Meats at his wake.
Goodbye, Paul, and thanks for spreading some joy.