With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Debra Ann Kadlec, age 65. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, sister and friend to all whose lives she touched. She left us on July 24, 2020, after a brave six-year battle with cancer. She was surrounded by loved ones, at home on the family farm, that brought her so much joy. Born in March of 1955, in Council Bluffs, Deb was the oldest of Ross J. and Gertrude C. Russell's four daughters. Deb impacted the lives of countless children and their families as a pediatric nurse at Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital and later as a paraeducator at Kreft Elementary School, in Council Bluffs. She and her loving husband, James A. Kadlec, celebrated 25 years of marriage last year. They were soulmates, best friends and the love of each other's lives. She lived a very full life as a wonderful wife, mother, nurse and educator. Her love for animals could not be confined to her own cats, Jack and Mac, and dogs, Buddy and Bandit. She volunteered many hours at the Harrison County Humane Society. She loved to cook and bake, keep a lovely home, share her talent for embroidery, and spend hours happily tending her flower gardens and mowing her lawn on the mower known affectionately as "Joy." Deb treasured her time with friends and family, and she truly enjoyed entertaining. Her favorite place on earth was the Hawaiian island of Kauai, and she made many wonderful memories there with her family. When her battle with cancer began, Deb became very involved with the Wings of Hope Foundation. She was such an inspiration to other cancer patients, that she was the keynote speaker at their annual benefit in 2017. She made many friends within that group, giving and receiving support and the strength to live each day to its fullest potential. Because of her fierce positivity and determination to make each day count, Deb was able to travel to destinations, both new and favorite, such as New York, California, Florida, Missouri, Colorado and Wyoming during her fight against cancer. She was the beloved mother of Joseph C. (Sherri) Lee, Jacob C. Lee, Jessica C. Lee, Antone C. (Renee) Kadlec, Kurt J. Kadlec and Nicole M. Kadlec; and the proud and loving grandmother of Destiny, Mariana, Greta, Miles, James, Layla, Cole and Caroline. Deb was the fierce older sister of Michelle (E. Michael) Sullivan, Alycyn (Michael) Carter and Heather (Randall) Schroeder; and a much-loved aunt to many nieces and nephews. Due to COVID-19, Deb's family will be hosting a Celebration of Life in 2021. Details TBA. There will be a viewing at Cutler-O'Neill-Meyer-Woodring Funeral Home & Crematory on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. A private memorial service will be live-streamed at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Deb requested donations to either the Harrison County Humane Society or Wings of Hope Cancer Support Center. For those of us who will be sending flowers in addition to her donation requests, we kindly remind you that her favorite color was purple.
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.