Monday, April 22, 2013

My Little Sister

I am so sad............

Debra (Debbie) Lea Rittershouse, 55, left this life on Sunday, April 15th at her home in Niangua.  Debbie was preceded in death by her father, Paul Rittershouse.

Debra is survived by her mother, Aletha Coulter; one son, Travis Williams and his wife, Kristen; her grandson, Landon Williams; one sister and one brother, Sherri Farley and David Rittershouse; her niece and nephew, Leann and Alex Farley; And last, but certainly not least, her partner and love of her life, Robert Comer with whom she lived very happily; and a host of friends and family.

Born to Paul L. Rittershouse and Aletha (Rittershouse) Coulter, Debbie earned her nursing degree at St. John's School of Nursing and worked as a hospice nurse with Hospice Compassus in Springfield.
Prior to that she worked in the ICN (Intensive Care Nursery) at Cox Medical Center.  She was hard-working and compassionate and cared deeply for all her patients. She always personally made sure they were treated with respect and dignity in their final days and did whatever was needed to see that they were as comfortable as possible. She even attended many of her patients' funerals after their passing. Debbie also made front page in Springfield News-Leader in 2011 for saving a woman's life who had been in a car accident. Debbie was driving to visit her mother when she happened upon the accident where a woman in the vehicle was unresponsive and had no pulse. Debbie pulled to the side of the road and administered CPR. She knew when the color returned to the woman's face, that the CPR was successful and that she was going to live. This is just one of many examples of Debbie's nurturing character and love for her job. Her patients always adored her and she loved them.

Debbie was extremely trusting and always put others before herself. She was an amazing daughter, sister, mom, granny and best friend. She enjoyed working in her garden and always loved to post pictures of the many varieties of vegetables she grew and flowers she had planted. Her favorite flowers were Japanese Irises. She enjoyed nature and the peacefulness of the outdoors. She had a zest for life. She had a passion for animals and had many of her own. She could never turn away a stray or mistreated dog or cat and she especially loved the chickens that her partner, Robert had helped her raise and built her a new chicken coop for. She took a special interest in their bee hives as well as learning to make fresh honey from the hives. She and Robert also loved wine-making and experimented with a variety of fruits and even homemade wine from honey!

Debbie was passionate about motor cycles and loved riding on the back of her boyfriend's Harley Davidson with him. She was a free spirit and had a great sense of humor. She was certainly not ever afraid to speak her mind. You never had to guess what was on Debbie's mind because she would tell you before you had a chance to ask. Debbie dreamed of going to Ireland, which she did in 1996 when her niece's dance troupe was invited to participate in the St. Patrick's day parade in Dublin.  On her birthday she kissed the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, giving her the “gift of eloquence” (or gab). She also loved shamrocks and anything that represented her Irish heritage. She was proud to be Irish and relished the Irish lifestyle. She never turned down a chance to have a good laugh and a good brew with her friends and family. She was extremely fun to be around. Everyone that knew her knew that where Debbie was, there was bound to be fun! With her long, beautiful, curly, red hair and fair skin, she loved to go to venues with Celtic Irish music and was always first on the dance floor. She always helped anyone close to her whenever they were in need and did so with no expectation of a returned favor. She made the world a fun place and the people around her very happy.  She was not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well. We miss her so very much already and will every day, forever.


  1. Sherri, I am so sorry. Your February post, Antique Perfection Stove, is a wonderful tribute to your beautiful sister.

  2. Sherri, your sister sounds like she made a huge mark in the lives she touched. Cherish your memories of her and she will always be with you in spirit. I am very sorry for your loss, Judi♥

  3. So sorry for your loss! Peace be with you ♥Lisa

  4. Dear Sherri, I am deeply sorry to hear about the death of your beloved Debra Lea Rittershouse. Debra's Eulogy is so precious, she was a wonderful caring lady.
    Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts. May you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you. My thoughts and prayers are with you during your time of sorrow.
    With deepest sympathy,

  5. Sherri...I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your sister. I will keep you and your family in my prayers during this difficult time. I know the pain must be unbearable.

  6. Oh Sherri, I am so sorry for your loss.
    Blessings to you and your family.

  7. Sherri, I am so sorry that you have lost your beautiful sister. I remember her in pictures on one of your post. Everyone you know loves you and grieves with you. You have been in my thoughts for many days. I hope you can and have been comforted in the past days. God be with you and your family and lead you through this sorrow. Your friend. martha

  8. What a wonderful tribute to such an amazing sister! May you find joy in your heart for having known her and may this joy comfort you in your time of sorrow.....blessings to you!

  9. Sherri, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending love and (((hugs))) to you and your family. ♥

  10. Sherri, what a beautiful testament to your sister. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  11. Sherri, I'm so sorry for your loss. I have two younger sisters and know how devistated I would be if I lost either of them but even so I can only imagine how terrible you must be feeling. If Debbie could see this post she would know how much you love and miss her. Take care. xox


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