Obituary of Wendy Deker
Wendy Smith Deker
Beloved mother, sister, grandmother, aunt and dear friend Wendy Smith Deker, age 75, of Potomac Falls, VA, died suddenly and unexpectedly in her home on December 26, 2018. A visitation and viewing will be held on January 4th from 5-8 pm and a memorial service will be held on January 5th at 11 am with Pastor Joe Eldridge officiating; both will be held at Adams Green Funeral Home, 721 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170.
Born Georgia Wendy Smith in Melrose, MA to Marguerite Smith (née Grant) and George Francis Smith on May 23, 1943, she attended school in the greater Philadelphia area and graduated from Abington High School in Abington, PA in 1961. During her school years she made the cheerleading squad, played field hockey, was on the student council and voted “most likely to succeed.” Following high school, she worked various jobs in her hometown before meeting her husband, Franz Jacob Deker, of Huntingdon Valley, PA and moving to Edison, NJ then Aurora, OH; they had two sons during that time, Franz David (b: 1966) and Wayne Douglas (b: 1968).
Wendy came to the Washington, D.C. area in 1975 following her divorce in Ohio and settled in Arlington, VA, in the now historic Fairlington Villages, with her two sons. She first went to work for the Washington Tennis Association and sports agents from the globally prominent Washington law firm of Dell, Craighill, Fentress and Benton, arranging scheduling and accommodations for many world-famous athletes who came to play matches here in Washington including Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith and Bjorn Borg.
Wendy’s next job was as a staff assistant to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), an early environmentalist and founder of Earth Day. Wendy was an environmentalist for her entire life. She next went to work on the staff of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), organizing his office, campaign and TV operation systems. Early in 1980, she moved to work on the staff of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee preparing daily information and trip folders for the Democratic Majority Leader, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV). In this capacity, she traveled with the Committee to London, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, and Ankara, flying on Airforce 2. She continued working for the Policy Committee for Senator George Mitchell (D-ME), preparing daily foreign policy and military analyses for his information. It was during her employment at the Policy Committee that she met her long-time companion Colonel Edward King.
Wendy subsequently retired from the Senate and she set about establishing a successful pet service business, Fairlington Felines, in Arlington, VA. After selling that business, she opened a new business, Ideas Unique, in Leesburg, VA dedicated to interior design consultation, and buying and selling fine home furnishings. Wendy was an energetic, skilled entrepreneur and an intensely hard worker. However, even with her many business requirements, Wendy managed to travel the world with family and friends, visiting Canada, nearly all of Europe, parts of China, Central and South America, The Camino de Santiago, a certified 120-mile hike, through Spain, Cuba, and many U.S. national parks.
Wendy was a three-time survivor of breast cancer, having been first diagnosed at age 28, and fought and won a landmark, and precedent-setting, case vs. Blue Cross Blue Shield in 1979 to make breast reconstruction a mandatory covered procedure for women having mastectomies.
Wendy is survived by her son’s Dave, Reston, VA and Doug, Potomac Falls, VA, their wives, Suzanne and Deirdre, six grandchildren, Zachary, Emily, Greyson, Grant, John, and Grace, brother Grant Wayne Smith of Washington, D.C., and his husband Don Schimanski, nephew Qwan, and long-time companion Edward King of Chevy Chase. She is preceded in death by her parents, George and Marguerite Smith.
Wendy’s multitude of friends will always remember her warm, open, friendly nature. She was a remarkable, wonderful, exquisite personality beloved by all who were fortunate to know her. She will be widely missed by her family and friends.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.