Debra McCormick was family’s communicator
Debra McCormick lived fully and died peacefully at home with her best friend and husband, Monte, as well as her family by her side. Debra died on the first Sunday of the
third day of the third month, thus the date of her death is 3.3.13.
Debra was born on Dec. 17, 1952, in Sidney, Mont., the daughter of Howard and Rosemary Olson. She married Monte McCormick on July 19, 1975, in Mobridge.
Debra’s family moved from Sidney to Forsythe, Mont., where she was educated through 10th grade. The family then moved to Mobridge, where she graduated. She excelled in speech and was a member of the debate team in high school. She was greatly influenced by a teacher/mentor, Ms. Peterson, a drama and literature teacher. She received her undergraduate degree at South Dakota State University in Brookings 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, Wis., 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 Monte 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, Hollie and Mark. She was also very involved in her sisters’ and brothers’ 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 two-and-a-half year course of illness with cancer, Deb inspired many people with her writings on www.caringbridge.org. Her faith is very apparent in these journal entries. 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 husband, Monte of King, Wis.; children, Natalie (Dan) Rekemeyer of Ames, Iowa; Holly (Jeff “Gup”) DeMarce of Menomonie, Wis., Mark (Wendy) McCormick of Edmonton, Alberta, Can., and nine grandchildren; her mother, Rosemary Olson of Bismarck, N.D.; her sisters, Claudia (Jerome) Dietrich of Mandan, N.D. and Collette (Jerry) Domshine of Stratford, Conn.; her brothers, Dave (Diana) Olson of Mitchell, Mark (Stephanie) Olson of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Ron (Carol) Olson of Sheridan, Wyo., 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.
Her funeral service was held Saturday, March 9, 2013, at the Shepherd of the Lakes Church in Waupaca, Wis.