Deborah “Debbie” J. Waitkus

Deborah “Debbie” J. Waitkus

Deborah “Debbie” J. Waitkus, 73, of Springfield, passed away at her home on Saturday, November 19th, 2022, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Debbie was born on June 9th, 1949, in Danville, the daughter of Tom W. and Cecilia (Paskey) Thornsbrough. She married Barry A. Waitkus on January 24th, 1970, and they enjoyed 52 years of marriage.

She is survived by her husband, Barry of Springfield; daughter, Jennifer Laub of Springfield; son, Matthew Waitkus (Cynthia Peraza) of Spring Hill, TN; sister, Rebecca Meeker of Palm Harbor, FL; two brothers, Mark (Donna) Thornsbrough of Dunedin, FL and Eric Thornsbrough of St. Petersburg, FL; seven grandchildren: Hiliary (Gabe) Gutierrez of Venice, FL, Staff Sergeant Luke (Rachell) Laub of Travis AFB, CA, Evan Laub of Colorado, Steven Laub of Springfield, Austin Waitkus  of Springfield, and Christian Waitkus of Tennessee; four great-grandchildren: Gwyneth, Charles and Henry Gutierrez, Eloise Laub and baby girl, Maxine Laub due this Spring; two nephews, Kyle Thornsbrough (Jenni Wagner) of Indiana and Kory Thornsbrough of Peoria; and niece, Samantha Meeker (fiancé Ryan Olund) of Utah.

Debbie was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather, Harry V. Johnson.

Debbie graduated from Schlarman High School in Danville, Illinois. She received her RN diploma from St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing in Springfield and a BS degree in Health Sciences from the University of St. Francis. She worked in the health care industry for 40 years prior to retiring in 2010.

Debbie’s family and Catholic faith were her greatest joys in life. She had numerous hobbies including the love of reading, baking (famous sugar cookies), Zumba, and ballroom dancing. She was an avid fan of U of I Men’s Basketball and loved quilting. When her grandchildren were born, she hand quilted each of them their own special baby quilt! She cherished her time with everyone.

Debbie was a member of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, The Apostles of Light Rosary Group, Member Queen of Peace Prayer Rosary Group. She was also a member of the Franciscan Hospital Sisters Lay Associates since 2008. She attended many bible study groups during her life and had a passion for reading and studying her Bible and saying the rosary. She was also a past member of the Rees Carillon Women’s Group.

Special thanks to Maria Plaza for being a great friend and prayer companion, friend, Pat Townsend for all the support and trips to St. Louis, and special friend, Karen Pyle.

Debbie would also like to give a shout out to Dr. Gillison and his staff for all their hard work and support.

Visitation: 10 am – 12 pm, Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield.

Funeral Mass: 12:30 pm, Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception with Reverend Peter Chineke officiating. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in Debbie’s honor to St. John’s Bread Line.

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