Deborah Ellen Van Walleghem
May 15, 1954 - December 10, 2022

Deborah, “Debby” with a Y, Van Walleghem was a loving mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and friend. She left this world after a short illness on December 10, 2022 at age 68.  

She was the first born of 5 children to Mederic and Mary Ellen Lemay in Kenora, Ontario.  Growing up she was blessed to have 4 younger siblings Murray, Maureen, Teresa and the late Louise.  She always spoke of her childhood with fond reflection on a busy home, full of love, laughter, and many extra mouths at the table.  She emulated this welcoming home in her adult life with many friends of the family welcomed not only into her home to visit but often to stay for periods of time.

After attending school in Kenora, Debby moved to Winnipeg and then onto Calgary to work, mostly in the banking world.  Once settled in Calgary, a Kenora boy, Dave Van Walleghem, changed her mind on the big city life and they moved back to Kenora to marry and start a family. Although they still continued to travel extensively with the pipeline when it was possible. Family then became the center of her universe, her three children, Jeff, Amanda and Michelle.  After years in her most important job at home with her family, she went back to work and often commented that it was because she wanted to go out for lunch.  She worked at the bank, a construction company and then until her retirement, Service Canada.  At all of these places she made many amazing friends, many she still texted with on a daily basis.  In retirement, she again felt the pull to go socialize and returned to working.  She worked at Brennen’s Jewelers, Ho Joes and then finally at Home Hardware.  

Through this all, she surrounded herself with family and friends.  The most common place for her to be on a Sunday (usually still in her favorite attire of pajamas) was at the kitchen table, with people stopping by for coffee, tea and of course the occasional drink. Mom always had a pot of tea for anyone who needed comfort, clarity or just some company.  

Debby and Dave traveled to Mexico in his retirement and unfortunately it was his one and only trip there but she caught the bug and it quickly became her favorite place.  She was always planning her next trip to Mexico! The only thing that came first was her family.  In 2011, her first grandchild Blake was born and she found her true calling in life, Grandma.  Following him were Addison, Chase, Gunner and Amelia.  She had a special bond with all of them, making time for each one and knowing their personalities all so well.  Each one would definitely tell you with confidence that they were her favorite.  Whether it was cuddling on her couch, Grandma sleepovers, spending time at her camp on Scotties or just going to Boston Pizza, the grandkids were her favorite company.  

She will be forever missed by many friends and family including her parents, Med and Mary Ellen, her son Jeffrey (Cindy), daughters Amanda and Michelle (Vaughn), grandchildren Blake, Addison, Chase, Gunner, Amelia, Brooklyn and John,  her sisters Teresa (Ray) and Maureen, brother Murrary (Joelle), brother-in-laws Danny (Colleen) and Peco (Maureen), beloved nieces and nephews, daughter-in-law Kathryn and special friends Hope and Dave. 

Previously departed loved ones included her husband Dave, her sister Louise, her son-in-law Darren and many other special family and friends that it gives us comfort to know she is with now.

The family invites you to join them to celebrate her life at 1:30pm on December 17th at the Kenora Legion upstairs. Food and stories to follow.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.brownfuneralhomekenora.com for the Van Walleghem family.