Our beloved Debbie passed away suddenly on Sunday, March 12th at St. Patrick Hospital.
Debbie was born on January 24, 1959 in Missoula to Ardith and Howard McKinnon. She grew up in Missoula with her three brothers and one sister. As she grew up, she enjoyed spending time at her family’s ranch on Flynn Road. Many happy memories were made there, memories that she shared with her family as it grew. She enjoyed being a native Montanan and especially loved the summers here. She was anxious for the start of Spring and all the beautiful days ahead.
She attended Hellgate high school and in 1976 met the man who would become her husband. She met Dave Moraca and they married on November 26, 1977. Their first son, David arrived in January, 1978. Debbie and Dave settled in Missoula with David and soon their family was complete with the arrival of their second son, Joe in December, 1979. Debbie was a dedicated wife and mother and her sons were “momma’s boys.” As proud to be her sons as she was to be their mom.
Debbie was a tough lady and although she was small in stature, her presence filled a room. She told it like it was and she was most definitely the driving force of her family. She worked hard all her life and was employed at both Rocky Mountain Communications and Blackfoot Communications. She loved her work family at Blackfoot and was treasured by the people who worked there, even after her retirement. But, being idle in retirement didn’t sit well with her and she was back to work part time at Flanagan Motors.
Her passions included gardening and sewing, among others. Her yard was full of flowers and was always the prettiest on the block. Her love of sewing resulted in a room full of materials used in one of her many creations. She shared this with her only granddaughter, Jerzee, and many precious moments were spent between the two of them.
By far her greatest passion was her family. Her first grandson, Donnivin was born in 1996 and there could not have been a prouder grandma. Gavin joined the family, followed by Jerzee and lastly Kinnon. There was not a holiday she missed, a chance to get her “babies” all sorts of little things she knew they’d love. Grandma’s house always had the best treats. Her grandkids could always count on Grandma!
She welcomed her daughters-in-law, Jessica and Lynette as though they were her own and they treasured her the same. Lynette was instrumental in the fight to save Debbie the night she passed, for which we are all grateful.
Her extended family was many in numbers and she loved each one dearly. Cousins, nieces, nephews, siblings and more. No one could say they didn’t feel the love from Aunt Deb. She enjoyed reunions at Flynn Ranch and was especially close to all her nephews.
By far her greatest love was the love she had for her husband of 47 years. Her devotion to him was never ending and she was by his side every day of those 47 years. Through every bad and good times. You didn’t think Dave without automatically thinking Debbie. We know she’s waving her finger at him from Heaven.
A tribute to her life wouldn’t be complete without mentioning her love for animals. No matter the animal, she loved it, except maybe snakes! Her fur babies from feline to canine were her treasures. The ones who went before her were waiting to greet her. Her newest baby, Chloe will be Dave’s constant companion now.
Debbie was preceded in death by her parents, Ardith and Howard, along with her beloved nephew Russ. Survivors include her husband, Dave; sons, David and Joe; daughters, Jessica and Lynette; her grandchildren, Donnivin, Gavin, Jerzee and Kinnon. Also many, many extended family from siblings, to nieces and nephews and cousins.
We love you momma. We will feel your absence forever. We will take care of your “babies”.
Many thanks to the first responders who came that night. To the staff in the ER who worked to try and save her. To the Blackfoot and Flanagan’s families for their support. And lastly to the many friends and family for their love, support and wonderful sentiments.
Arrangements are under the care of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory in Missoula.