Decker, Howard Seeley (1923-1982)

Decker, Howard Seeley (1923-1982)

Date Updated



Industrial Studies

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Columbia University , 1953 Ed.D.

State University of New York, Oswego, 1950 MA

Syracuse University, 1950 MA

State University of New York, Oswego, 1948 BA

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1969-1982

Appalachian State University, 1959-1966

W. Va. Institute of Technology, 1953-1959

Columbia University, 1950-1953

Scipioville High School, 1948-1950

Administrative and Professional Experience

1962-64, Trade and Industrial Education Advisor, US/AID BRAZIL.

1966-69, Executive Secretary of American Industrial Arts Association, Washington, D.C.; Editorial Director, The Journal of Industrial Arts Education.

1973, Advisor/Teacher, Industrial Education Master's Degree Summer Program, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1974-75, General Chairman, California Industrial Education Association Convention/ San Francisco, '75.

1978-1979, Peace Corps Volunteer, Brazil; Consultant/Advisor with Director of Escola- Tecnica Federal da Bahia, Salvador.

Personal Commentary

Howard served in WWII as a squadron navigator in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the European theatre. He wasdischarged in 1945 with the rank of Captain. He was rated flying personnel and placed in the reserve category.

Howard returned to the SUNY Oswego campus to attend the Spring semester in1946. Howard and I met at a dance which honored returning veterans. He was an excellent dancer. That was the beginning of a great relationship. We both graduated in the morning of June 14,1948, and married in the afternoon.

His 34 year career as an industrial educator included secondary and collegiate teaching. During his collegiate career, he served as director of Fine and Industrial Arts at West Virginia Institute of Technology, Chairman ofIndustrial Arts at Appalachian State University and Chairman of Industrial Studies at SJSU.

During the course of his career as an educator, Howard also fulfilled a role as humanitarian. He accepted positionswhere he was able to take his teaching skills and ideas to other countries to further industrial education where technology was less developed. Among the challenging assignments was our stint in the Peace Corps, where weworked together in the Escola Tecnica in Salvador, Brazil. We had been to Brazil previously, where Howard was anadvisor for the State Department/Agency for International Development. During that visit, our family lived for 2 yearsin Curitiba, Brazil, and had the opportunity to travel throughout Brazil, including a memorable trip to the Amazon.

Howard, myself and our younger son returned again to Central and South America during a sabbatical in the fall,1975. One of Howard's goals during that 5 month trip was to meet and work with the Ministries of Education ofthe countries visited to further the role of industrial education.

In addition to travel, Howard had many other interests, which included photography, spelunking (caving) with hischildren and grad students, rock hunting, deer hunting, boating, fishing, reading science fiction, and dancing. He puthis teaching experience to practical use when he designed and built our home with the help of his sons and students.

Caring, optimistic and filled with ideas, Howard shared plans to fulfill those ideas and had the desire to achieve them. Howard made a difference. He is remembered for his leadership qualities--among these the ability to foster opendiscussion to solve many challenges.

Date Completed: 11/96 (Anna Decker)

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Decker, Howard Seeley (1923-1982)