Debra Marie Grant, who traveled the world in search of adventure, lovingly sewed magnificent quilts for dozens of friends and family, added treasures to her beloved collection, faithfully served and shared her faith in Jesus Christ, and passionately fought the good fight, died Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, at the age of 50.
Born to William and Marie Burgess, Debbie grew up in Southern Indiana. A graduate of Brownstown Central High School and Indiana University, she majored in respiratory therapy and worked for a decade at Riley Hospital for Children for the purpose of helping people who struggled with the same chronic illness that she worked so tirelessly to defeat in her own life. An active fundraiser for cystic fibrosis, she Bowled for Breath, made Great Strides in annual walking events, and Cycled for Life on her beloved tandem bicycle with her husband Jeff — raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for a cure.
Sharing a love of children, she and Jeff taught in the Carmel Clay Schools system. Though they could not have any of their own, it was a labor of love to work with thousands of children for 10 months of each year. Debbie worked as a special education instructional assistant for a decade and a half.
Special, one-of-a-kind trips were intricately planned down to every detail for each summer, traveling all over the world in every form of transportation from cruise ships, canoes, and kayaks to helicopters, dog sleds and hot air balloons. Their favorite mode of transportation, however, was the two-wheeled variety. Purchased as a wedding gift to each other, the couple logged thousands of miles on their tandem bike, once riding more than 250 miles across the state of Indiana.
Debbie thoroughly enjoyed her church family. As part of a core of eight founders of Harvest Community Christian Church, Debbie loved to take mission trips, providing labor and love to Haiti, Mexico, Costa Rica, and other places that needed a helping hand and a heaping dose of God’s love in action.
Some of her longest-lasting friends came as a member of 4-H. As a youth Debbie thrived at county fairs and in work sessions where she learned many valuable lessons. But the most lasting lessons were taught by her mother, specifically passing on a love of quilting. The warmth and love poured into those gifts will be cherished for years to come. Her legacy is best preserved by the love she shared everywhere she went.
While she will be dearly missed, Debbie waits in Heaven with a hug for those still to arrive as she relishes her time with many who went before. She is preceded in death by her mother.
Survivors include her husband Jeff; father and step-mother Bill and Sherry Burgess; brothers, David (Melanie), Wes (Vanessa) and Todd (Tammy); father and mother-in-law Walt and Cheryl Grant; and many cherished nieces, nephews, cousins and godchildren.
Debbie’s visitation will be from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16 at Flanner Buchanan - Carmel. A funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 17 at the funeral home. A short graveside ceremony will follow the funeral at Carmel Cemetery, not more than a good Debbie golf tee shot from the Monon Trail that she and her husband loved.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be cherished by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that still fights the good fight, now without one of its best generals.
Please visit www.flannerbuchanan.com to read Debbie’s extended obituary and to sign the online guest register.