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.