Profile: Carolyn Decker (aka "Grandma D")

Carolyn (Walsh) Decker is a little like a Christmas elf and an Easter bunny all rolled into one. She might even have some Energizer Bunny in her.

Not only do I associate her with baskets of candy that I’ve never seen anywhere else, but she dresses the part too. Think bells on her shoe laces in December and full-body American flag in July.

She’s an inspiration to contribute to the community, to get out, and to do stuff. And yes, it’s quirky sometimes, but that’s why it’s so fun.

How I met Carolyn Decker

Once again, I have no idea. She met me when I was born, I guess, or shortly after. She knew my mom, though, so I’m sure that’s our main connection. :>)

Who Carolyn Decker is

  • Former Boston marathoner and a bunch of other things
  • Harold Decker’s wife
  • My mother’s mother… my grandma

What Carolyn Decker likes

  • Jogging
  • Line dancing
  • The color green and the pattern for the American flag

One fact about Carolyn Decker

She’s the reason my brothers and sister have red hair. She’s the culprit.

People often ask where my brothers and sister get their red hair because our parents have dark brown hair. I don’t know how many thousand times my brothers or sister or my mom or dad have said, “They get it from their grandma.”

Now that it’s posted online for everyone to find, I’m sure that question won’t come up as much.

One reason I like Carolyn Decker

Towering at 4’10”-ish, she’s quite athletic.

I remember her trying to teach me the butterfly stroke or the backstroke at the pool where she lifeguarded. I remember chugging away on the stationary bicycle she’s had in her basement for the past two decades. And I remember the time she signed me up for a race when I was six or seven years old.

Before that race, knowing my natural kind-heartedness, she told me to keep running even if someone else falls down. Well, of course someone else did fall down, but I kept running. I managed second to last place because of that advice too.

One memory I have of Carolyn Decker

Thrift stores. The miles of clothes smashed together so tightly on the racks. The toys, all missing parts. The dusty, tile floors.

What’s up with my grandmas and thrift stores? Grandma D and my mom would go shopping and find crazy stuff, like green shoes or that American flag sweatsuit. Or a rocking chair or something and want my dad to bring it home for them.

When I was younger, I thought being a grandma meant shopping at thrift stores. And by “when I was younger,” I mean like yesterday.

Carolyn Decker in one word


Green and American Flag stuff