Debra Dawn Zeiler was born in Odessa on May 23, 1955, to Donald and Ione (Tootie) Zeiler. Debbie went to Odessa schools for 12 years and graduated in 1973. According to her sisters, Deb was the queen or princess of many dances. She loved wrestling where she kept score for four years. She played tennis for four years. It was said you didn’t want to be on the receiving end of her serve when she was mad.
After graduation she enrolled at Kinman Business University in Spokane, Washington and graduated with a degree in data processing. After completing her college degree, she moved to Moses Lake and was employed at the sugar beet factory. After a number of years, she went to work for the Washington State Potato Commission in Moses Lake where she worked for 24 years.
Debbie worked several jobs before fully retiring in June of 2020. Deb loved her friends. She traveled to many casinos, watched NASCAR races in Vegas, and vacationed at Lake Roosevelt. She loved spending time on the houseboat and riding jet skis. Deb loved all sports. She especially loved the Seahawks. She would text her nephews on game day with a traditional “Go Hawks.” Kyle Busch was her favorite NASCAR driver, win or lose.
In July 2021, Deb received some bad news that she had cancer. She didn’t let the news of having terminal cancer dampen her spirit or test her faith. She was a strong Christian with a serving heart. She was a deacon of her church and her church family was very important to her. She drove elderly ladies to appointments and cared for them deeply. It wasn’t until she received the news that none of the medicine was working that she made it her mission to make sure that Sandy, Lori, and Tim were OK and the nephews and nieces were too. Jim and Terry held a special place in her heart. She was the only one who could get away with calling them James and Terrance. She loved Pam and what she brought to our family. Deb also had a little boy, Aiden Whitman, who called her Grandma Debbie. Aiden’s mother, Shelby Smith-Whitman, was the daughter Debbie never had. She had special friends whom she called family and several she considered sisters. Many good and memorable times were spent at the Ripple laughing and visiting. She loved playing pool, darts and pull-tabs. Her favorite goodbye was, “Love Ya Long Time!”
The love Deb had for her nieces and nephews was strong and unconditional. She never missed any of her nephews’ games in Moses Lake whether it be baseball, basketball or football. She was especially proud when her brother took the Davenport boys team to the state basketball championship. Another proud moment for her was when her niece and teammates won the state basketball championship. A highlight for her was when she received two great-nieces and a great-nephew all on the same day. In September of this year, Deb was able to meet Adelynn for the first time. She wanted to meet Emmett and Frankie but was not able to make the trip to California. Facetime allowed her see them and interact with them. She was Aunt Debbie to many.
Debbie attended many heavyweight crew races at WSU. She even watched the Opening Day Regatta in Seattle. Deb loved the water and the boys in the boat. She could not emphasize enough how important her cousins were and spent many weekends with them. Debbie was so quick witted and constantly had her siblings and friends running to the bathroom laughing hysterically, and sometimes not making it. She had goulash mastered for her night of cooking in high school. Deb would quickly call Grandma if liver and onions were being served at home. She would always deny if peas were flying at the dinner table.
Sandy strongly admits that her faith grew stronger because of Deb, especially after being diagnosed with cancer. When her youngest sister was born with red hair, she told Mom that she had to name her Sandy. And she did! Deb was Tim’s hero who showed her unconditional love for God and others and the importance of serving others. She promised him to die with grace and never question God’s plan. She gave Lori love, assurance of life, a helping hand when she needed it, and never ever complained. She was Lori’s partner in crime and her greatest protector. Everyone in Deb’s life has been affected by her when she was alive and after she passed. She will be deeply missed, never forgotten, and always loved by her family and friends.
Debbie is preceded in death by her mother and father Don and Ione Zeiler and her nephew Adam Timothy Libsack. She is survived by her sisters Lori Carpenter (Terry Dowers) and Sandy Libsack (Jim Smith); her brother Tim (Pam) Zeiler; her nieces Brandi Engel (Greg), Sydney Zeiler; her nephews C.J. Carpenter (Brittaney), Ryan Carpenter (Amanda), Andrew Libsack (Sarai), Colton Libsack, Alex Zeiler and Josh Zeiler (Stephanie); and great-nephews and -nieces Keenan Mullen (Tyler), Cambell and Griffin Carpenter, Stevie, Emmett, and Frankie Carpenter and Adelynn Libsack.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, at 1 p.m. at the Moses Lake Presbyterian Church, 1142 W. Ivy Ave., Moses Lake, Washington, with Rev. Eric Frey officiating. In lieu of flowers family asks that memorials be made to the Moses Lake Presbyterian Church, 1142 W. Ivy Ave., Moses Lake, WA 98837, or a blood donation may be made to any local blood bank.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.strate-funeral.com for the Zeiler family. Strate Funeral Home of Davenport, Washington, is caring for the family.