In Memory of Deborah R. Anderson

July 20, 1954 - January 8, 2024

Deborah Reiter Anderson (Debbie) passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully in her sleep on Monday, January 8, 2024 in Spooner, WI at the age of 69 years. She was born on July 20, 1954, in St. Paul, MN to Robert (Bob) and Ellen (Hansen) Reiter. She married her greatest love Bruce Allan Anderson on May 9, 1986, in Spooner.

Debbie genuinely loved all people, a kind, gentle, and caring love from the heart. She would give hugs that warmed the heart. She willingly gave, shared and contributed freely to others. She was kind, compassionate, pouring herself out with selfless acts directed towards others. In the nursing and group homes where she was Activities Director, she greeted each staff member and resident with a “Hello” every day, and actually had a relationship with the staff on all three shifts! She loved doing whatever she could for residents who were not able to provide for themselves. Notably, Deborah won the Wisconsin Activity Professional of the Year award in 1996, and won the National Activity Professional of the Year Award in 1997, a prestigious award given to an activity professional from the United States, Bermuda, or Canada who has made outstanding contributions in the field. These awards highlighted her contributions to the health and care that exemplify dedication and service. She taught basic and advanced activity professional courses, wrote a national monthly publication about the profession, and was a keynote speaker for other states’ national conventions, and was an “activity consultant” to many local, state, and national facitilies. Debbie was also author of “Quality Improvement in Nursing Homes Manual”, a recipe manual, and food and word trivia manuals.

Debbie brought sunshine and such joy and happiness to everyone she met and those she spent time with. She had a keen sense of humor. She’d get a group laughing so hard when she’d tell her army basic training stories; such as: “On a night march, they finally had to tie her to the soldier ahead of her as she was night blind and kept wandering off”! She loved spending quality time with her son throughout his years growing up, trading, collecting, and creatively decorating, making something out of almost nothing. She had quite an artistic eye.

Debbie was truly an inspiration for anyone with a long-term illness, remaining faithful to the Lord and upbeat. She was so proud of her son and daughter-in-law and her greatly loved grandchildren. Her husband Bruce was her world.

Debbie is survived by her best friend Bruce Anderson; her cherished son Robert (and Amy) Anderson, Eau Claire, WI; her very treasured grandchildren Bodie and Stella; her beloved parents Bob and Ellen Reiter, Spooner; her siblings Terri Reiter (Fred Kosmach) and Annette (Brett) Heino, Spooner; her great uncles Bob Haddick; Bill (Phyllis) Haddick; uncles Ken Reiter, Spooner; Matt (Donna) Reiter, AZ; Cliff (Pam) Hansen, Roberts, WI; Randy (Jackie) Hansen, Spooner; her aunts Gail Rogers (Bill VanRoe), Sioux Falls, SD; Linda Hansen, St. Croix Falls, WI; Patti Reiter, MN; and many beloved in-laws, cousins as well as many special friends.

Debbie was preceded in death by her mother-in-law Betty Anderson; her grandparents Matt and Evelyn Reiter, George C. and Emma Hansen; her Aunts Marilyn Chizek, JoAnn Jordan, Connie Agen, and Marion Reiter; and her Uncles James B. Hansen and Thomas Rogers.

There will be a celebration of life service and burial in the spring at the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Last Update: Jan 10, 2024 3:42 pm CST

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