Debra McCormick, King, WI lived fully and died peacefully at home with her best friend and husband, Monte, as well as family at her side. Debra died on the 3rd Sunday of the 3rd month, thus the date of her death is 3.3.13.
Debra was born on December 17, 1952, in Sidney, Montana, the daughter of Howard and Rosemary Olson. She married Monte McCormick on July 19, 1975, in Mobridge, SD. Debra’s family moved from Sidney to Forsyth, Montana, where she was educated through 10th grade. The family then moved to Mobridge, SD, where she graduated. She excelled at speech and was a member of the debate team while in High School. She was greatly influenced by a teacher/mentor, Mrs. Peterson, a drama and literature teacher. She received her undergraduate degree at South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, and her Master’s degree from Washington University, St. Louis, MO, with degrees in Physical Therapy (PT).
During the course of Deb’s professional career, she worked passionately as a PT in the Waupaca County School District, helping families and children with special needs. She had a very creative and entrepreneurial spirit, thus embarked on a second career as a businesswoman, developing HeartSteps™, a company that initially was created for step-parenting cards and gifts, which later expanded to the Christian gift industry. It was during this period of her life where she and her husband traveled extensively across the world and met many dear friends, whom were impacted by her, and, in turn they impacted her life. Monte and Deb sold HeartSteps™ in 2006.
Deb’s biggest joy was her family and being a step-mom to her “children of her heart”, Natalie, Holly and Mark. She was also very involved in her sister’s and brother’s lives as well as in the lives of her 19 nieces and nephews, and Monte’s extended family. Deb was known by everyone as being playful and fun-loving. She was the family communicator, maintaining a network with the entire clan. She made sure that they visited each family on a regular basis. She and Monte had a marriage that was an inspiration to all who witnessed their legendary love. This love was based on their relationship with God, and it was Deb’s wish that her family and friends have a personal relationship with the gracious God that she knew. During her 2-1/2 year course of illness with cancer, Debra inspired many people with her writings on www.caringbridge.org. Her faith is very apparent in these writings. She was a prolific writer and had intended to publish a book regarding her personal journey; in the end she accomplished this task through her Caring Bridge writings.
Debra is survived by her children, Natalie (Dan) Rekemeyer, Ames, IA; Holly (Jeff “Gup”) DeMarce, Menomonie, WI; Mark (Wendy) McCormick, Edmonton, Alberta, CA, and 9 grandchildren. She is further survived by her mother, Rosemary Olson, Bismarck, ND; her sisters, Claudia (Jerome) Dietrich, Mandan, ND, and Colette (Jerry) Domshine, Stratford, CT; her brothers, Dave (Diana) Olson, Mitchell, SD, Mark (Stephanie) Olson, Cheyenne, WY, and Ron (Carol) Olson, Sheridan, WY, as well as 19 very dear nieces and nephews. Debra was preceded in death by an infant daughter in 1980, her father, Howard Olson, in 1997, and Meda Radley, a second-cousin and spiritual mentor, who also died on March 3.
A visitation will be held at the Holly Funeral Home in Waupaca, WI, on Friday, March 8th, from 4:00 PM -7:00 PM. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 9th, at 11:00 AM, at the Shepherd of the Lakes Church in Waupaca, WI. At Debra’s request, the family asks that memorials be made to the Shepherd of the Lakes Church Travel Mission fund in lieu of flowers. The Holly Funeral Home of Waupaca, WI is assisting the family with arrangements.