This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Debby Kirchner 58 years old , born on July 5, 1960 and passed away on February 9, 2019. We will remember her forever.
Posted by Gretchen Kirchner on December 22, 2019
Debby loved Christmas -- carols, decorations, lights -- and most of all celebrating the birth of Jesus. Deb hated to see Santa Claus in the spotlight when it should be all about Jesus.
Favorite Christmas memories -- a hay ride in Irrigon looking at Christmas light displays. Going out in the snow with Chloe to cut down a Christmas tree. Candlelight Christmas eve service each year. Christmas at the coast where it stormed most of the time.
Here's a Christmas song to you, Debby. https://youtu.be/zufPnJXKbCE
Posted by Darika Barnes on April 1, 2019
I only met the adventurous, creative, talented Debby once, but I am friends with her amazing sister Gretchen, so I feel like I know her better than I do. What stands out to me is how much love and faith are shared in this family. It is amazing how they go to great lengths to help and support one another, and to spend time together. I am happy to read so many wonderful stories of Debby and know you have so many beautiful memories to comfort your broken hearts. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you.
Posted by Marsha Marie on March 22, 2019
Debby was real and she didn't sugar coat anything. When I think of Debby in my mind I see a free spirit of the 70's. She was a child of God and she knew her scriptures no one could persuade her from the truth. She was multi talented and could do anything she set her mind to. It's a relief to know she's in heaven...No more pain. No more surgeries. She's so happy right now and just waiting for the rest of us to join her. I've not been in touch with her much lately but I did think of her often. The world has lost a light but her light shines brighter now than ever. I pray for family, loved ones and all who's life was touched by Debby as she is missed.
Posted by Gretchen Kirchner on March 16, 2019
Debby was the first Jesus Freak I ever encountered. She used to wear a "Jesus is God" t-shirt, which really bugged me because I didn't understand at the time how Jesus could be God. She was a light to me; her zeal was one thing prodding me to accept all of who Jesus is -- the creator, savior, redeemer of the world. Thank you, Debby! I love you and miss you! I'm glad you are exploring all the awesomeness of heaven now. May all your kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids (when they happen) join you there someday!
Posted by Robert Kirchner on March 11, 2019
It was with great sadness that I learned of Debby’s passing. It had been many years since I had last seen her, but my mind goes back to when we were six grandchildren playing together at family gatherings in San Bernardino or Fallbrook. As the two oldest grandchildren, Debby and my sister Kristi were always the ‘leaders of the pack’ and held command over the rest of us. My memories may be selective, but I don’t recall that our fearless leaders always led us down the straight and narrow path! Aunt Carol often would say that she felt sorry for me being the only boy in the bunch, but I always felt fortunate to be able to ‘buddy-up’ with Lorrie and the two of us would usually find a way to avoid the commotion. Good memories from good times.
Family moves and greater distances sadly put an end to those family gatherings, and the last time I saw Debby was at our grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration in Escondido. I found her to be very much the same Debby; assertive, yet quick with a smile and laughter.

I am deeply saddened to know that she has left us, but I will always cherish my memories and take heart in knowing that Debby leaves behind a wonderful family and friends who loved her very much.
Posted by Norm/Virginia Stone on March 6, 2019
What do you say when someone so young, so talented, so clever, goes to be with Jesus before her mom and dad! Not too long ago, I had Deb make some chain mail earrings for me. After seeing her other work, I couldn't resist. Dan, who had a teen crush on her, was shocked. Their birthdays were just a day apart, and they shared the same memories from those days. Good memories. May the Lord give you all His peace as you go through this time. Remember, that joy comes in the morning.
Posted by Jeffrey Cannon on March 4, 2019
I know Lorrie and if Debby was anything like Lorrie than a beautiful and caring person she would have been. I am sorry I never had the chance to meet or know Debby but she sure sounds like a great lady.
Posted by Carol Ellestad on March 2, 2019
Debby was survived by her parents, Ray and Carol Ellestad, two sons, Ian 37, and Aaron 35.  She also had a granddaughter Chloe 16, and a grandson Dillon 11. She had 3 sisters, Lorrie 56, Amy 54 and Gretchen 50. 
Debby loved God and made it a point to share the love of Jesus with those around her. She attended bible study, and some of her favorite scriptures are found in the Psalms and have to do with the wonder of God's creation.

Debby loved the outdoors, hiking and camping, and enjoying God's creation. She had a passion for rocks, shells, and gems. In her adult life she enjoyed finding rocks, fossils and such. She cut, shaped and polished the rocks into beads, pendants, and other shapes. She loved the seashore, walking on the beach and looking for shells and treasures. 
Debby was an avid reader. She was very creative, knitting things for her family, and crocheting many beautiful articles. 
Debby will be missed by all who knew and loved her. Hers was a beautiful life.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Gretchen Kirchner on December 22, 2019
Debby loved Christmas -- carols, decorations, lights -- and most of all celebrating the birth of Jesus. Deb hated to see Santa Claus in the spotlight when it should be all about Jesus.
Favorite Christmas memories -- a hay ride in Irrigon looking at Christmas light displays. Going out in the snow with Chloe to cut down a Christmas tree. Candlelight Christmas eve service each year. Christmas at the coast where it stormed most of the time.
Here's a Christmas song to you, Debby. https://youtu.be/zufPnJXKbCE
Posted by Darika Barnes on April 1, 2019
I only met the adventurous, creative, talented Debby once, but I am friends with her amazing sister Gretchen, so I feel like I know her better than I do. What stands out to me is how much love and faith are shared in this family. It is amazing how they go to great lengths to help and support one another, and to spend time together. I am happy to read so many wonderful stories of Debby and know you have so many beautiful memories to comfort your broken hearts. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you.
Posted by Marsha Marie on March 22, 2019
Debby was real and she didn't sugar coat anything. When I think of Debby in my mind I see a free spirit of the 70's. She was a child of God and she knew her scriptures no one could persuade her from the truth. She was multi talented and could do anything she set her mind to. It's a relief to know she's in heaven...No more pain. No more surgeries. She's so happy right now and just waiting for the rest of us to join her. I've not been in touch with her much lately but I did think of her often. The world has lost a light but her light shines brighter now than ever. I pray for family, loved ones and all who's life was touched by Debby as she is missed.
her Life

Interests through the Years

It's interesting to look back at all the interests Debby had through her life. These lists are by no means exhaustive! Each list is roughly chronological though many items overlap.

Hobbies

Various games, jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, cross-stitch, plastic canvas needlepoint, crochet, drawing, writing, guitar, gardening, bonfires, sudoku puzzles, knitting, latch-hook rugs, string art, tie dye, pottery, knitting, lotion and soap-making, scrap fabric rugs (toothbrush rugs), shooting, hunting, bowed psaltery, rock-hounding, rock shaping and polishing, wire-wrapping jewelry, chainmaille.

Music Bands

Elton John, Van Halen, Foghat, Kansas, Sweet Comfort Band, Daniel Amos, Benny Hester, Randy Stonehill, Bryan Duncan, Wes King, Petra, Undercover, Steve Taylor, Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, 2Cellos, Jay Sekulow Band.

Activities

Swimming, camping, horse-back riding, beach combing, hiking, volleyball, water gun fights, aerobics, ballroom dancing, line dancing, decorating for Halloween and Christmas, birding, nerf gun fights, badminton, croquet, bocce ball, kayaking.

Pets

Cats, dogs, snakes, horses, bearded dragons, rats, chickens.

Debby was born in San Bernardino, California in 1960, the oldest of four girls. At age 11, she and her sisters joined a swim team. Debby was a great swimmer, especially at breast stroke and butterfly! She and her younger sister Lorrie had quite a competition going, though Lorrie's strengths were freestyle and backstroke. Every other year, the two were in the same age group. During the individual medley race in which all 4 strokes were swum, Debby and Lorrie alternated who was in the lead. It was fun to watch!

As a young teen, Debby had a horse for a couple of years. The house on Poplar Street was next to a huge vacant field, and there was a stable where she kept her horse there.

When she was 14, Debby's dad (Gary) died which was extremely difficult for her. Rather than turning to God for solace, Debby began a period of rebellion that led to many hardships for her. When Debby was 17, her mom Carol remarried. This was another hard event for Debby as she still grieved the loss of her father and she left home soon after. During the several-year period of turmoil, Ian (Debby's older son) was born. Not long after, Debby realized that she had been fighting the one who loved her more than any other, Jesus the son of God. She accepted his forgiveness of her sins and took him as her Master for life. She was baptized as a public confession of faith in San Bernardino. Around the time of Debby's baptism, Debby married Michael and their son (Michael) Aaron was born soon after.

Debby went back to college and graduated with a BS in Computer Science in 1996. During her college years, Debby realized that her new father Ray loved her and had a lot of wisdom and support to give. He helped her out of credit card debt and tutored her through math and computer programming classes. Ray and Carol helped Debby through the turmoil of divorce and single parenthood too.

Toward the end of Debby's college period, Gretchen (youngest sister) moved in with her and Ian. The sisters moved to Yucaipa at the beginning of a 20-year journey together in faith and friendship. Together they attended church, studied the Bible, got creative with cooking and baking, enjoyed having friends over for meals and games, listened to calls from policemen or school officials regarding sons, kept a variety of pets, and explored God's great creation. Debby was an avid reader and knitter through the years. She taught computer applications courses and then became a clerk in a San Diego county court. The two sisters stayed together through Ian moving out, Aaron moving in and then out, and several changes of location in southern California and then Oregon.

Ian married Sincere in 2001 and Debby was thrilled to become a grandmother twice over in the following years! Ian and Sincere moved to Salem, Oregon and then Keizer, Oregon. Aaron also live in Salem for a time. Though Debby loved her job in eastern Oregon as case worker for the Department of Human Services, she (and Gretchen) moved from eastern to western Oregon to be near her kids and to love on the grandkids, Chloe and Dillon, and to teach them about God's love and creation.

In the last several years of Debby's life, she and her son Aaron became rock hounds. They made many trips gathering literally tons of pretty rocks. They cut, shaped, and polished some of them. Debby learned wire-wrapping and chain maille and made many beautiful things. Aaron lived with Debby and Gretchen for a few years in Oregon. Then for the last two years, Debby and Aaron lived on their own in Ocean Shores, where they enjoyed walks on the beach, Bible study, and kayaking.

Debby's greatest desire was for her kids and grandkids to know and walk daily with Jesus. Though years of increasing pain hindered Debby from being as social is in the past several years, she faithfully prayed for others to be brought into the kingdom of God.

Recent stories

Remembering Debby

Shared by Carol Ellestad on July 6, 2019

Yesterday was Debby's birthday.  We miss her.  There was an empty place where  she should have been. I know she is happy with Jesus and has no more pain and I am so happy for her, but I am still sad she is not here. We love her and miss her. 

She loved God's creation!

Shared by Carol Ellestad on April 22, 2019

We had a thunder and lightening storm last week.  It really made me think of Debby.  She loved storms and would sit on our back patio and watch them.  It was really a good storm!  She would have loved it!  She enjoyed the creation God made for us. And I really miss her.

So creative!

Shared by Carol Ellestad on April 6, 2019

Debby made me some beautiful jewelry.  I like earrings, so when I would ask for a specific color or style, she would make me 2 or 3 pairs to choose from!  But then she would give them all to me.  And they were all lovely!  When I wear something she made, I very often get comments from people about how beautiful or creative they are.  It's just fun to have her jewelry noticed so much.  I love wearing it and it reminds me of her and all she did.  She was very generous!