JERSEYVILLE - Deborah Kay (Christen) Ward passed away on Friday, May 28, 2021 with her family by her side, after a battle with ALS.
The oldest of 8 children born to Neil and Mary Katherine “Katsy” (Rhoads) Christen, Debbie grew up helping care for her siblings on the family farm east of Jerseyville. She attended Holy Ghost grade school, Sacred Heart Academy Catholic Girls High School in Springfield, IL and Gem City College in Quincy, IL.
From an early age, Debbie took great pride in her appearance. She firmly believed that you shouldn’t leave the house without makeup, and an outfit wasn’t complete if your shoes didn’t match your purse. She was known for her signature “flamingo pink” lipstick and was everyone’s go-to lady if you were searching for the perfect accessory.
She married Dennis Ward on February 13, 1971; theirs was the last wedding at the old Holy Ghost Church before the parish moved to their current location. They have remained committed to each other and their family for the last 50 years; he survives. There was nothing Debbie took more pride in than being a mom, and Mamo/Mimi to her grandkids, and there was no question that she was the very best. She was the OG dance mom, and never missed a chance to cheer her kids and grandkids on in whatever they were doing.
Debbie worked many jobs over the years, but she found her true calling as an Avon representative. This path allowed her to combine 2 of her favorite things: her love for people, and her love of makeup. She won many awards through her years with Avon, but her greatest prize was the many lifelong friendships she gained with her wonderful customers.
Debbie had a true gift for being able to make friends everywhere she went, and for that reason touched more lives than her family will probably ever realize. Once you were in Debbie’s life, you could count on her being there for anything you needed. She can best be described in one simple word: selfless. She loved reminiscing on the wonderful memories she made with so many people over the years, especially her shenanigans with the “Mom Squad”. She was the life of every party, and knew how to make anything she did a memorable event. She would light up a room as soon as she walked in.
In addition to Denny, she leaves behind her children, who were her true pride and joy: Dr. Derrick (Dr. Audra) Ward of Leawood, Kansas, Darci Ward (Mark Thompson) and Drew Ward (Frances Allen), both of Jerseyville, and her sweet grandchildren Barrett, Zac, and Quinn. She is also survived by her siblings: Mary Christen, Gigi (Rod) Lucas, Darla (Tim) Dooley, and Stacy (Ricky) Cox, all of Alton, Dawn (Deron) Thomas and Cindy Christen, both of Florida, and Lenny (Tracy) Christen of Alabama; a special sister-in-law, Barb Moore of Jerseyville; 18 nieces and nephews; and her DK Dance family, who she thought so much of.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m., Saturday, June 5, 2021 at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 12:30 p.m., Saturday at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Jerseyville. Father Hyland Smith will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to The ALS Society of Greater St. Louis, or The Gleason Foundation in care of Crawford Funeral Home, 1308 State Highway 109, Jerseyville, IL 62052.
Our family would like to take this time to thank everyone who supported Debbie and walked with us on this difficult journey over the past year. Your kind words and gestures will not be forgotten, and neither will our sweet mom.
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