Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
GRAFTON – Deborah Ann Woelfel, 71, died at 10:40 p.m., Thursday, September 7, 2023 in the Emergency Room at Jersey Community Hospital, following a period of declining health.
She was born in New York City, New York on May 17, 1952, the first of six children born to the late Alfred H. “Al” and Dorothy E. (Drainer) Woelfel.
She was raised in Jersey County, where she graduated with the Class of 1970 from Jersey Community High School. She went on to obtain her nursing license from St. John’s School of Nursing in Springfield followed by her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of St. Francis in Joliet.
She began her long and proud career in the Healthcare Industry while living in Decatur, where she worked at St. Mary's Hospital, initially as an ICU nurse.
She then shifted her focus to Emergency Medical Services & Critical Care, where she truly shined. After several years as an EMS instructor at St. Mary's, she moved to Rantoul after accepting a position as an educator with Provena Covenant Medical Center EMS System in Urbana in 1994. In 2005, she relocated back to Jersey County to take a position with Alton Memorial Hospital as its EMS Coordinator, a job she held until her health necessitated her retirement in 2018.
EMS was her passion, even following her retirement she remained actively involved in volunteer efforts with various agencies and organizations. She served as a CPR Instructor, provided educational resources for multiple area Fire Departments, served as a former Secretary and Treasurer of the QEM Fire Protection District Auxiliary, Coordinator for the Illinois Poison Control and sat on the regional committee for the State of Illinois Disaster Response Team. Her knowledge and passion for EMS was widely known throughout the State of Illinois, and she will be fondly remembered for her efforts to advance EMS services and improve the education of EMT’s and Paramedic’s throughout the state.
Surviving are her siblings and their spouses, Donna Darr of Dow, Diana and Dennis Woolsey of Jerseyville, James Woelfel and his companion, April Murray, of Jerseyville, Jeffrey and Tamara Woelfel of Grafton, Darla and Rusty Long of Alton; thirteen nieces and nephews, Aaron Darr, Ryan (Suzanne) Darr, Kristen (Josh) Elmore, Wayne (Renee) Woolsey, Heather (Brett) Schwarz, Adam (Marisa) Woolsey, Rachel Cox, Michelle (Cody) Walden, Mindy (Bret) Jackson, Jamie (Matt) Burns, Lauren (Matt) Savoie, Shelby (Adam) Sackman, Jon (Aliyah) Woelfel; 22 great nieces and nephews; 3 great-great nieces and nephews; two aunts, Eva Brooks of Colorado and Marie Woelfel of Jerseyville.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death her paternal grandparents, George and Rose Woelfel; maternal grandparents, Peter and Carrie Drainer; a brother in-law, Dr. Gary Darr; as well as aunts and uncles, Hubert and Edna Drainer, Linus and Mildred Drainer, Germane “Jerry” Drainer, Eugene “Gene” and Joyce Drainer, Marvin and Gladys Drainer, George and Theona “Spiv” Woelfel, Ronald and Barbara Woelfel, Rosemary and William Simpson and Richard Woelfel.
Visitation will be held on Monday, September 18, 2023 at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville from 4 p.m. until time of Nurses Honor Guard Ceremony at 7 p.m., followed by a family led rosary service.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m., Tuesday, with Father Martin Smith officiating.
Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery in Jerseyville.
Memorials may be given to the Jersey Community Hospital Ambulance Association, in care of Crawford Funeral Home, 1308 State Highway 109, Jerseyville, IL 62052.
Memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.crawfordfunerals.com