Debra Lynnette Johnson, age 65, of Independence, peacefully passed at the Gundersen Health System in La Crosse on Friday May 14, 2021 with dear friends by her side.

Debra was born on May 14, 1956 at Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse to Duane (Sunny) and Greta (Olson) Johnson.

Debbie grew up in Blair, Wisconsin, graduated from Blair High School in 1974 and then attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Early in life Debbie realized a calling to assist those in need. Four decades were spent in employment in Trempealeau County, including Community Crisis/Mental Health, Grand View Care Center, Tri-County Memorial Hospital and Trempealeau County Health Care Center, as an EMT, Certified Nursing Assistant, and Vocational Trainer. For 31 years she was employed at TCHCC, much of the time in the Vocational Rehabilitation Department, assisting residents in their work skills, and providing direction for their future and recovery. Debbie’s unique personality, humor, and charisma brought compassion to resident care and service.

An advocate of women’s sports, Debbie was a dedicated player in softball, league bowling, and golf. She was always excited during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, Women’s College World Series, and WIAA Girls Basketball Tournament. And Debbie was a big fan of the Badgers, Brewers and Packers.

Debbie had a passion for cooking, canning and baking. She was a fantastic cook and one of her favorite things to do was to read cookbooks. She collected cookbooks and would often combine several recipes into one, resulting in her unique and very delicious cuisine. Her mother also shares this passion.

Debbie was a community steward, routinely helping the elderly and others in need by delivering meals, visiting, and being a friend. She made a difference in the lives of so many! And as a lover of nature, she took time each day for a short trip nature ride to take in the unique beauty of Trempealeau County.

Debbie enjoyed children of all ages, always having candy and suckers on hand for the little ones. And she so loved dogs, of all breeds and sizes.

Debbie is survived by her parents; aunts, Patricia (David) Dahl, Janet (Johnson) Applequist; Alyce (and the Sobota family); and many cousins and godchildren.

Debbie was preceded in death by her grandparents, Orrin Olson and Marjorie (Olson) Arneson, and Svend and Minnie Johnson; Step Grandfather Samford Arneson; aunts and uncles, Richard (Rock) and Rheta (Olson) Stone, Glenn (Skip) and Lois (Olson) Roy, James and Maxine Johnson, and Gary “Svend” Johnson and her cousin Reed Stone. Also preceding her in death were her fur-baby dogs, Bentley, Dayzee, and Lucy.

The song goes “in Heaven there is no beer;” let us hope that is not the case as so many look forward to having another cold one with their great friend Debbie Johnson.

A Committal Service will be held May 27, 2021 at 2 p.m. in the Rest Haven Cemetery in Blair, Wisconsin with Scott Brown officiating.

The Jack Funeral Home in Blair is assisting the family with arrangements.

Memorials can be designated to the Blair Lutheran Church, Rest Haven Cemetery, Trempealeau County Humane Society, or charity of choice.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

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