NORFOLK – Norfolk attorney, judge and philanthropist Pete Decker, Jr. died early Friday after a four-year battle with cancer, his family announced.
“Uncle Pete," as he was affectionately called, was 76 years old.
The Norfolk native practiced law for more than 50 years after graduating from the Marshall-Wythe Law School at The College of William and Mary.
He raised more than $50 million of dollars for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He teamed with Norfolk Tea and Coffee to create “Uncle Pete’s World Famous Gourmet” coffee. $1.00 of each bag sold benefits St. Jude’s.
In naming him its first Citizen of the Year, the Virginia Sheriff’s Association last August cited Decker's charitable work and his “Outstanding role in the field of Criminal Justice, resulting in the improved quality of life for all Virginians.”
Decker made sure to applaud the achievements of young people, taking students to lunch for improving their grades. It was something he’d done for more than a decade. Decker told them hard work will be rewarded and always encouraged students to achieve and succeed.
He served as a member of Norfolk State University's board of visitors and on the board of Nauticus, the National Maritime Center.
In January, a Virginia Senate Joint Resolution commended Decker for his contributions.
Funeral services will be held Monday.