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Deborah (Debbie) Stephens

Obituary for Deborah (Debbie) Stephens

March 29, 1955 - May 14, 2018
Dallas, Texas | Age 63


Deborah (Debbie) Stephens passed away peacefully at Diversicare at Lake Highlands on May 14, 2018.

Debbie is survived by her father, Charles Anthon Stephens; her brothers, Charles Stephens and his wife, Kathleen, Jerry and his wife, Ana, and her sisters, Claudia Stephens and Barbara Stephens and her wife, Jayne Iafrate; two aunts and an uncle, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her mother, Nancy Raisch Stephens.

Born on March 29, 1955 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Debbie was the oldest of the five "rascally" children, as her mother would call them. She moved to Odessa in 1958 and lived there most of her life.

Debbie graduated from the special education program in the Ector County Independent School District in 1977, and then attended day programs sponsored by the Permian Basin MHMR.

From a young age, Debbie loved music and dancing. Her favorite performer was Elvis Presley, and she sang along to his records. As part of the Permian Basin MHMR program, she participated in several dance-a-thons and wowed the crowd with her stamina and dance moves. If her siblings were lucky, she treated them to performances of "Oklahoma" and "The Sound of Music." Off-key or missing lyrics were over-shadowed by her passion, love and laughter.

Debbie adored several TV shows from the 1970s and knew the exact times and days of each one:
All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda and The Waltons. If her siblings tried to tease her and suggest that these TV shows were cancelled, she would roll her eyes because she knew they were being ridiculous.

Special Olympics was a significant part of Debbie's life. She earned many medals in the softball throw, 50-yard dash, and broad jump at the local and regional level.

Debbie participated in the Girl Scouts, earning badges from camping to sewing. She enjoyed going to camp every summer with her friends.

Debbie had a healthy competitive side. She was a fierce player of the card games Concentration and Go Fish. Her siblings recall with much humor when she claimed victory in Monopoly by having the tallest stack of $1 bills. She won arm and leg wrestling contests every time.

She attended St. John's Episcopal Church in Odessa and helped with day-care. Church members will remember how Debbie lead the children to receive communion at the altar every Sunday.

Debbie enjoyed long driving trips with her family around the U.S. and Canada. When traveling, one of her siblings would ask, "Where are we?" Debbie's response was "prairie"—an appropriate answer when leaving Odessa at 4 a.m. in the morning.

Debbie's parents taught her siblings to treat her with great respect and love. Debbie taught everyone she met patience, kindness, joy, compassion, and to never take themselves too seriously.

A burial service will be held at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville for family and friends on Friday, May 18 at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Debbie's name to Special Olympics Texas.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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