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Deba (not Debra, Debbie, or any other amalgamation thereof) was born on September 21, 1943 to Ken and Betty Weatherwax in Amarillo, Texas. She passed away on October 4, 2023 in Olathe, Kansas.
She lived in Pennsylvania, New York, Louisiana, and Kansas as her father was moved for his work in the Air Force. She graduated from Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kansas and Emporia State Teacher’s College in Emporia, Kansas. She received a Master’s degree from Friends University. She held many jobs over her working life, including with the American Red Cross, the State of Kansas as a Social Worker, and as a “Worm Lady” at a resort during a summer in the Rockies. Her favorite job was the 25+ years she spent serving as an elementary librarian to the children of the Wichita Public Schools. There are 54 elementary schools in Wichita and Deba may have worked in all of them at one time or another. Once you were in her library, she knew your name and what books you liked to read. If she didn’t have the one you were looking for, she would get it shipped in and hand you another to read while you waited.
She was married to her husband Jerry for 55 years and they had three children, Kendra, Kelly and Kyle. During their early years, almost every Saturday was a trip to the public library to check out books. She was a Girl Scout Cookie leader, a minivan driver extraordinaire (MOM, is saxophone in the van?), a dedicated baseball mom, and made a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She enjoyed cross-stitching and spent hours making Christmas pillows every year for her family.
She was a proud Nana to Nate, Jon, Zora, and Finn who were the twinkle in her eye. She raised her family in Wichita and then retired to Spring Hill, Kansas where she spent her days reading, sewing, watching her grandkids and attending their many activities. She enjoyed (tolerated?) the massive amounts of sports that were watched/argued about/consumed by her family and was a devout watcher of MSNBC.
Mom was a member of the P.E.O Sisterhood which supports the advancement of women’s education. She belonged to Chapter IY in Wichita and was a Charter Member of Chapter JV in Spring Hill, where she served as President 2017-2019. She was a dedicated blood donor and received a 1-gallon pin. She was active in the homeowner’s association in Spring Hill, serving as its secretary for several years.
She will be cherished, remembered and missed by her two surviving children, Kendra (Ed) Jenkins and Kelly (Dani) Barker; four grandchildren Nate Lavoie, Jon Jenkins, Zora Lotton-Barker and Finn Lotten-Barker. She is also survived by her four sisters, a niece and three nephews and their children, as well as Ginger, her beloved Shorkie.
A private service will be held at a future date at Resthaven Cemetery in Wichita, where she will be interred next to her husband, Jerry, and their son Kyle, who preceded her in death.
Her family would ask that in lieu of flowers, donations in her honor can be sent to the PEO Foundation, 3700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312 or online at http://donations.peointernational.org/.