Debra "Miss Debbie" Lynn Wagenbach, 57 passed away at 9:38 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at Great River Medical Center in Burlington, Iowa from complications of breast cancer.
Born May 28, 1961 in Burlington, Iowa she was the daughter of Gerald L. Wagenbach Sr. and Bonnie J. (Behne) Wagenbach. Her first priority in life was loving and serving the Lord. Friday night family gatherings and times spent with her family were a great joy to her. She worked as a city employee for 35 years and retired from the Burlington Public Library in 2016. At the library, where the children affectionately called her "Miss Debbie", she especially enjoyed story time and found opportunities to teach children moral lessons. Her love of children led her to author two children's picture books that were published. A member of the Mediapolis Apostolic Christian Church, worshiping with her church family was very important to her. Debbie was grateful for the loving support shown to her and the many prayers offered on her behalf as she battled cancer over the past 20 months.
She is survived by Bonnie, her mother; one sister and seven brothers, Gerald Jr. (Bonnie), Tamara Sharp (Gary), Jeffrey (Monti), Donald (Kristine), Darren, Michael (Erica) from Wolcott, Indiana, Matthew (Aimee), and James (Ursula), 35 nieces and nephews and 28 great-nieces and nephews who will all miss her so much. She was preceded in death by her father, Gerald L. Wagenbach Sr. and one niece.
Friends may call from noon to 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 8th at Lunning Chapel where the family will receive friends from 2:00 until 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. They will also receive friends from 9 until 9:45 a.m. Saturday, March 9th, at Mediapolis Apostolic Christian Church.
The funeral Service for Miss Wagenbach will be 10 a.m. Saturday, March 9th, at Mediapolis Apostolic Christian Church, 700 Lofgren Drive, Mediapolis, Iowa, with Ministers of the Church officiating. Interment will be in the Oakville Apostolic Christian Church Cemetery, rural Oakville.
A memorial has been established.
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It is just so hard to put into words the feelings of my heart at this time. What a treasure, being cousins and also wonderful friends has been such a blessing. I know how Debbie impacted many of the children in this area, because I so often shared with her, when I would be out and about, I would often hear "Mom, is that the library lady?" Although we don't look exactly alike (she was much prettier!), I felt so honored to be thought of as her.
She had such a strong, faithful heart, wanting what was best for everyone.
So thankful for all the precious times, talks and love we shared, and am looking forward to the reunion, someday on those Heavenly Shores. Love you Debbie-you are so missed, and my heart is hurting, but am so thankful for the memories we have shared.
Love, prayers and sympathy to all of the Wagenbach family!
My sympathy to Debbie's beloved family in her passing. I got acquainted with Debbie in the single group and she stayed with me several times when she traveled to Lester. I was in my thirties when I got married, so we both loved spending lots of time with our nieces and nephews at that time in our lives. Debbie was a happy, positive person to be around and had a contented, heart for God.
Ms. Debbie welcomed our family when we moved here. I was so happy to see her at the library when I brought my own kids and when I brought my preschoolers on field trips. Her smile and hugs were a beacon of light and a true testament to the life she led. Her faith in God was strong and evident in the work she did and the person she was. Our family is blessed to have known Debbie and we keep her memories and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
With much love,
Nicki and Marc Moad
Alexandra, Athena, Adriana, and Anthony
My life is better because of the many enjoyable hours I was able to share with Debbie over the course of several years as we recorded Public Service Announcements for the Burlington Public Library in the production studio of KKMI. Debbie wrote all of those PSA's herself, delivered them in perfect voice and inflection, and had the best record for getting it right on the first take than anyone I worked with in my 23-years at the station. And of all the recording we did, her absolute favorite session was when two if her nieces joined her once for a PSA about "Story Time."
The work was fun, but the best part to me was always our conversation when the recording was done, with topics ranging from work to current events, philosophy, religion, and spirituality, dreams and ambitions, retirement, her writing ideas for children's books, favorite foods we had in common (peanut butter!), politics and many others. She was so easy to talk with, and her visits raised any day to a higher, better level.
The last time I saw her, I had moved from Burlington to Galesburg and Debbie came over for lunch on a beautiful, sunny day. We ate at the Landmark Cafe, browsed shops on Seminary Street, and stopped at Innkeepers Coffee for tea and a sampling of assorted chocolate truffles. And there was big news that day! She told me "Sergio" had just been pick-up by her publisher! Suddenly, a good day was elevated to a celebration.
And that was it. A lighthearted day of good news, food, and conversation, and as we know can happen in this life, a day that turned out to be a goodbye.
Peace to all of Debbie's family, friends, and admirers. And though our friend is gone, the friendship remains forever.
(aka Dave Lavender)
Debbie will always be special in my heart. I will always be thankful that she decided to come work at the library and share her talents with me and all the children who visited.
So many memories and special times with Deb fill my thoughts. So sorry for your loss. May God be with each of you and comfort you all. In His Love, Sara (Bahler) Grasso and Family (Rockville, CT)
I remember always seeing Miss Debbie at the library her smile lit up the room. May she Rest In Peace. I know she is in heaven reading to all the children there
Bonnie. So sorry to read of the Loss of Debbie, so was always so sweet and cheerful when I talked to her at the library. Heidi visited with to buy books for her nieces and nephews. I got them for my great grandchildren. Prayers
One of kind!!! I am so grateful my children had the experience of Story Time with Miss Debbie! My condolences to her family.
May Debbie’s life and positive vibrant attitude to all she met here on earth remind us all to take note of her rich reward of heaven .
Sincere sympathy to the Wagenbach family.
Roger & Rhonda Reker
Bonnie I remember working with you at Ordnance plant and then my son, John and Debbie graduating in the same class. Prayers and comfort for you at this trying to time to you and your family. May God hold you in the psalm of His Hand.
One of a kind! I am so grateful my children were had the experience of story time with Miss Debbie! My condolences to your family and friends.
Some of my fondest memories are of working with Debbie at the old public library building. I was so sorry to hear of her passing. I send my sicerest condolences.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Wagenbach family. Debbie was a wonderful, Spirit-filled sister in Christ. She was an encourager and wanted the best for everyone. I am proud to have called her my friend. See you in heaven one day, Debbie. You will be missed.
She was such a kind, sweet person. I will truly miss her at the Library. Prayers goes out to all the family and friends. You have my deepest sympathy.
My heart broke when I saw this. I loved working with her for the short time that I did. She will be missed be so many. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
God bless you Debbie...you were a gem and an inspiration.❤️ Love you, my sister -in-Christ! We WILL meet again someday, without a doubt! ❤️
She was such a wonderful nice lady when i would go to the library she was so helpful! Sorry for your loss! May peace be with you!
She was such a sweet, dear woman!!! She will be greatly missed. Prayers to you all ❤️❤️❤️
My thoughts and prayers goes out to the entire Wagenbach family. Debbie which is my sunshine will be missed dearly i enjoyed and cherrish our time that we shared your smile lighted the day i love u Debbie
Debbie read stories years ago to my then little daughter at story time and more recently to my great nieces and nephews. I will forever appreciate her giving them the gift of reading, including her own storybook creations. Debbie's warmth, joy, friendship, and smile will remain in my memory. I hold the family in my prayers.
Thank you for being so kind to all 3 of my daughters over the years. You were a blessing & will be missed. God Bless You Miss Debbie
Thinking of you, Bonnie, and the rest of your family. I will never forget that Debbie came to my house when my dad died almost 15 years ago. That meant a lot to me and my mom. I have such wonderful memories of spending time at your home in my teen years. I will continue to pray for you through this difficult time.
Debbie was one of my mom’s (Becky Ruberg) closest friends. We would see Debbie multiple times a week growing up because we always needed more books from the library. She was such an advocate for my mom in getting her a library job. She made such an impact on our family and I am forever grateful for her friendship with my mom and my family. I am deeply sorry for your loss and looking forward to story time with Debbie in heaven.
Thoughts and prayers going out to the entire Wagenbach family. Debbie will always be remembered for her ever present smile.
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