ST. CLOUD -- A local museum is honoring one of its own with an annual award.

The Stearns History Museum announced this week that the 2021 Zapp Historian Award will go to longtime employee John Decker.

Decker began his 44-year career at the museum in 1977 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in American studies and history from St. Cloud State University.

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He served as the head of the Research Center for much of that time, and museum photographer from 1978 until 1983. During his time there he also helped coordinate the Century Farm Program and annual bus tour.

Decker recently left the Stearns History Museum, but still continues to serve as a weekly volunteer and member of the Minnesota State Historical Preservation Review Board.

Starting in 2012, every year the Zapp award is given to someone who has made a “significant contribution” to the history and culture of Stearns County. The award is named after the Zapp Family, who helped fund the building of the museum in the 1980s.

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