Person 2 Person: The life and journalism career of Rod Decker

Person 2 Person: Rod Decker

(KUTV) KUTV reporter Rod Decker has been on the air for 37 years.

And this week, he is retiring.

Decker told Shauna Lake he feels "conflicted" about the decision.

"I'm doing it in part because my wife's sick. She's got cancer and I want to be with her, and that's a good reason," he said. "I'm hoping to become a better person. I'm stressed and grumpy and tired all the time and I'm hoping to get over that."

But he is also a little worried what his life will be like without his work.

"I get depression and go home and lie in bed and drink a beer or something like that," he said. "And then I get a good story and it revives me. And I worry if I don't work that I'll just go home and get grumpy and gloomy."

But he does have plans to prevent that.

"I'm going to write, I'm going to exercise. I'm going to see people! I'm going to be happy! That's the idea," he said.

Decker currently has a book about Utah politics at a publisher, which he hopes will be out a year from now.

"I'm going to sort of fiddle with it for a year," he said.

Many people don't know about the "softer side" of Decker. He is a husband , father, and grandpa.

He and his wife, Christine, have been married since 1972 and have three children. Next month, they will have their sixth grandchild.

"I like being a grandpa. Being a grandpa's a lot of fun," Decker said.

His family is "the biggest thing" in his life.

"I've had a really, really happy marriage. We get along and I really like her and we're happy together. We like each other's company," he said.

KUTV estimates Decker has reported on over 17,000 stories over the years.

One story he counts as a favorite is when he went to the prison and tried his hand at escaping while being hunted by dogs.

"I'm still happy about getting away," he smiled.

Decker seems to never be afraid to do outrageous things on air--including wearing a "skort," or dressing up in heels, stockings and boxer shorts and doing a dance routine.

"I try now and then to be funny," he said.

If you ask Rod Decker how he is doing, he will almost always answer, "Better than I deserve."

And it something he really believes.

"I've had an easy life, and there's no reason why I should have," he said. "I've had fun and I'm kind of weird as a TV reporter. I'm not ordinary. And I've been lucky that I've been able to get along as a kind of weirdo in the business."

Decker has had a memorable journalism career, but he believes people won't "remember you very long."

But, "If they remember at all I'm happy," he said.

All in all, Decker has some bittersweet feelings about retirement.

"I really like Channel 2. And I really like work, and I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss my colleagues. However, I'm looking forward. I'm optimistic. I'm determined to make this work," he said.

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