Debra Jean Boden

Resided in Gladstone, MI
Died December 22, 2018

Debra Jean Boden, age 66, of Gladstone, passed away Saturday, December 22, 2018 after a six-year battle with cancer.
Debra was born February 13, 1952, the daughter of John and Barbara (Pilecki) Robitaille.
She attended St. Thomas grade school and was a 1970 graduate of Holy Name High School. She married Brian Boden, her high school sweetheart, on January 15th, 1972. They were married at St. Anne Church in Escanaba shortly after Brian’s return from his tour of duty in Vietnam. Deb traveled with him to Fort Riley Kansas, which she jokingly said was their honeymoon, where her husband Brian completed his military enlistment in 1973.
Deb had a very long career as a pharmacy technician, starting at Goodman/Pryal Drug Store in Escanaba at the age of 16, and finishing her career at Shopko’s Pharmacy until her declining health forced her into retirement after 28 years of service. Deb absolutely loved her summer “happy place” at her and Brian’s campground on the Big Manistique Lake near Curtis, Michigan. They spent nearly 30 summers at their beautiful lake front log fishing, boating, and socializing with loved ones. When not on the lake, she loved traveling to visit her sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Deb was fortunate enough to have traveled around most of the United States and to many of the large cities of Italy such as Rome, Venice, Florence and Pisa. One of her most memorable trips was to Alaska to visit her son Jeremy and his wife Dana while Jeremy was serving in the Air Force at Eielson AFB, just outside of Fairbanks. While in Alaska, Deb and Brian accompanied Jeremy and Dana on a weeklong camping trip from North Pole down to Homer in their motor home.
During Deb’s very long battle with cancer, she remained active, optimistic, and resolute as the family matriarch to the very end. She thought the world of her Oncology providers at Mayo Clinic and U.P. Health Care in Escanaba. The very professional and caring staff at U.P. Health, Steven Gauldoni, Dannille, Jen and Tracy were the best anyone could ask for. We cannot thank them enough for the expertise and compassionate care they gave to Deb during her illness. We would be remiss if we did not include a big thank you to her former co-workers at Shopko, Escanaba and Gladstone Pharmacies for all of the love and support they showed Deb during her illness.

In addition to her loving Husband, Debra is survived by:
3 Sons: Jayme Boden of Fort Collins, CO
Jeremy (Dana) Boden of Hammonton, NJ
Joe Boden of Vancouver, WA
3 Sisters: Sandy Richards of Gladstone, MI
Mary (Paul) VanHese of Rochester Hills, MI
Gail Faust of Gladstone, MI
3 Grandchildren: Kirstyn, Taylor, Jaxon
2 Great Grandchildren: Mason and Sadie
And Numerous Nieces, Nephews and Cousins.

Debra is preceded in death by her Parents

Family will receive friends Thursday, December 27, 2018 from 4:00 until 6:00 PM at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Funeral services will follow visiting hours at 6:00 PM at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone with Rev. Fr. Francis Dobrzenski officiating. Debra will be laid to rest in Holy Cross cemetery in Escanaba, MI. The Skradski Family Funeral Home of Delta County are assisting the Boden family.

19 Tributes for “Debra Jean Boden

    Dear Brian, I am so sad and sorry to hear about Debra’s battle and subsequent passing. Losing someone so dear is difficult enough but at Christmas time doubly hurtful.
    I pray for peace for Debra and send a hug for you. So very sorry.
    Your friend,

    Debbie was always like a mother to me….I will forever be grateful for all her support and love…..your wings were ready but our hearts were not

    So truly sorry you had to leave us Deb. You were and still are an inspiration to me and many others. You showed us how strong we really can be. Your strength and love of life will be forever etched in my heart. I will miss you dearly my friend.

    Yo-Puh and boys..I am very saddened to learn of your loss. May God give you all comfort in the days to come.

    Brian, our sincere condolences to you and your family. I cannot imagine the pain of your loss, nor the struggle that Debbie endured. We will be thinking about you during this difficult time.

    Many years working with Deb at Shopko, she was respected for her knowledge and kindness.
    My prayers to the entire family. She is now at peace.
    God Bless, and my deepest condolences for you Brian.

    Deb was such an inspiration and model of courage and Grace throughout her battle with Cancer. She did not let this grueling illness prevent her from having the time and energy to care for others, to share their joys an sorrow, and hardly mentioning her own struggles. That little “happy place” down on The Point will never be the same without her. Brian, Sandy, and family, we are so sorry

    Deb was a sweetheart. I worked with her at shopko for a year. I had many things happen while working with her. Every time I came back she was a great ear to talk to. She had the best motherly feel. She will be missed. Sorry for your loss.

    Brian – although I know that no words can ease the loss you feel, just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. It’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow but may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow. Deb is gone from our sight, but never from our hearts. I will cherish our family memories and be grateful for the time we had with such a special person.

    Brian and family Debbie was a classmate who I had lots of laughs with we both had that dry humor alot like you Brian stay strong and God Bless all of you Kathy (gannon) pearson class of 70

    Brian, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I remember back when you and Deb were living on Stevenson Ave, in Escanaba, you and I would stop in on duty, sometimes late at night, and Debbie would make us a snack. She was a special woman, kind and unselfish.

    I knew Debbie from High School, and she was always a very nice person. I remember her pretty smile and how friendly she was to me. My thoughts and prayers are with all of her family and friends during this difficult time. God Bless you Deb!

    My deepest sympathy Brian and family. Deb was always a kind and familiar face at Shopko pharmacy. So very sorry for your loss. Love andprayers.

    I am so sad to hear about the loss of Deb. We worked together for years at Shopko. I remember her fondly and know she will be deeply missed. May your family find peace in your happy memories.

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