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Deborah Burris

March 31, 1950 March 11, 2015
Deborah Burris
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Obituary for Deborah Burris

Deborah Burris, of West Peoria, Heaven became a little brighter around 2 a.m. March 11, 2015 when the soul of Deborah A. Burris departed Earth after a prolonged battle with cancer. Known as Debby to all her friends, she was living proof that angels walk the Earth. Deborah was born in Huntington, West Virginia on March 31, 1950 to Forbes Jr. and Arlene Clarke. She is survived by three sisters, Cynthia, Shauna and Katherine. Forbes Clarke Jr. was an engineer in the coal mining industry and had settled in Canton, Illinois when Deborah reached high school. She attended St. Mary’s Catholic Academy in Nauvoo, Illinois and graduated in 1968. Deborah married David Jacobus of Lewistown after graduation and had three children Amy (Curtis) Rushing, Aaron and Derek. They were eventually divorced. On October 5, 1990 she brought new life into the existence of Kenneth Burris of Peoria, Illinois. She accepted Ken’s proposal of marriage on February 2, 1991 and they were married on March 17, 1991. Ken is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Rolla, where St. Patrick was the patron saint of engineers and Debby’s ancestors were of Irish descent, so the date was felt appropriate. Deborah was a librarian for District 150 in Peoria, Illinois for Calvin Coolidge and Trewyn Middle Schools. She was forced to retire in 2005 for health reasons. A spot on her lung was detected in 2006 and after another hospital procedure in 2008; the spot was discovered to have grown. It was confirmed as cancer in 2009. She was hospitalized on February 25, 2015, and succumbed to the cancer after being transferred to OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home on March 2, 2015. Deborah was Roman Catholic and was a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Peoria. She mentored Ken into the Catholic faith initially through a Cursillo, which led to RCIA and becoming a Catholic convert in 1993. Deborah was cremated and a Catholic Funeral Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 27, 2015. The Franciscan Friars will officiate. She will be interred in the future with her husband Kenneth, in a family plot in Bucklin, Missouri. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, as that disease claimed her mother directly and her father indirectly.

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