Rounding out the top three ways to say "died" (after the very popular "died" and "departed this life"), is today's synonym: "deceased" (commonly abbreviated "Decd.").
Today, we generally use "deceased" as an adjective, but in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was also employed as a verb. The Oxford English Dictionary Online offers three definitions for the verb "decease" (all of them archaic):
- intr. To depart from life; to die.
- to decease this world (cf. to depart this life). Obs. rare.
- fig. To come to an end, perish; cease
A few carvers favor this term. Many of the Worster family stones say "Decd.," as do those carved by Joseph Lamson of Boston. Other carvers use it only occasionally and spell it as the spirit moves them.
Edward Sprague, Malden, MA (1715)
Carver: Based on the descriptions given by HM Forbes in Gravestones of New England and the Men Who Made Them: 1653-1800 (pgs. 52-3), I think this stone was carved by the elder James Foster of Dorchester (b. 1651).