Mij Diane Dechman, 59, of Harwood, passed away at her home surrounded by loving family on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. She was born May 18, 1959 in Houston to Jimmie Neil Dechman and Virgie Lee Emmons Dechman. Her name “Mij” was a play on her father’s name, “Jim” reversed to comprise “Mij,” a name as exceptional and unique as the person she grew to be.
Mij started school in Spring Branch before she and her family moved to Gonzales in 1975. She was crowned Miss Gonzales in 1976, danced as a member of the Apachettes Drill Team and graduated from Gonzales High School with the class of 1977. Mij worked as dance instructor for her mother’s studio, “Virgie Lee’s Dance Studio,” alongside her mom and sister. After high school, Mij danced with the Southwest Texas State University “Strutters.”
After coming to Gonzales, Mij worked as a teacher’s aide for GISD while attending St. Phillip’s College, where she earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science and was certified as an occupational therapist. She remained working for GISD as an occupational therapist, helping many children with disabilities work toward independent, productive and fulfilling lives.
In 2003, Mij continued working in this specialty by contracting with long term care facilities while continuing her education and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration from Colorado Tech University in 2007. In 2010 she joined her sister in starting Visiting Angels, where she remained caring for those in need until shortly before she passed away from her own illness, putting the needs of others before her own until the very end.
Those who were close to Mij remember her having a tireless work ethic. While she was working outside the home and grinding to advance her collegiate studies, Mij was raising three children as a single mom and later helped with her grandchildren. With the weight of her family and career weighing heavily on her shoulders, Mij remained a loving nurturing mother and friend to many. Her arms were always open to care for those that needed her learned skills and her home and kitchen were always open to the many friends of her children.
Mij was a very good cook and made meals as if she was preparing for an army complete with her unforgettable sweet tea. Her children praise her as an exceptional mother, she lived life as if its only prospect was all or nothing and nothing truly was never an option to Mij. Hers was a life of dedication, commitment, sacrifice and love. Long after her dedication and commitment has faded from memory, the essence of her love will live on in all the people she touched and now and then they will smile and Mij will know that her “all” was enough.
Mij Diane Dechman is survived by her loving and adoring family: daughter Courtney Dianne Williams and her husband Dustin of Harwood; sons and daughters-in-law, Curt and Lauren Pish of Harwood and Dustin and Brandi Pish of Shiner; sister and brother-in-law, Jimi Lee Dechman Riverkamp and Dale Riverkamp of Harwood; grandchildren, K’Leigh Pish, MaKenna Pish, Braelyi Williams, Hunter Williams, Connor Pish; her ex-husband and friend, Buddy Respondek of Gonzales; and her lifelong dear friend, Kathy Tomas of Giddings. She was preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 6 in Seydler-Hill Funeral Home with Pastor Forrest Hamilton officiating. Interment followed in the Thompsonville Community Cemetery. The pallbearers were Jason Whiddon, Johnny Tomas, David Tomas, Matt Tomas, David Gast, Jr. and Timtrell Stovall. The honorary pallbearers were Rob Ford and Elijah Day.
The family received friends from 5 - 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5 in Seydler-Hill Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the University Health System Foundation/Transplant Endowment Fund, 903 W. Martin, MS 1-2, San Antonio, Texas 78207. Friends may leave their condolences by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome.com.
Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.