Deborah Jean Gelbowitz, one of eight children of George Henry Johns and Patricia Anderson Johns, was born Jan. 22, 1957, in Minneapolis, Minn. and died April 3, 2017 at her home in Perry, Iowa , at the age of 60 years, 2 months, 11 days.


A Celebration of Life Service was held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 8, 2017, Hastings Funeral Home, Perry, Iowa. A sharing of memories was lead by Larry Vodenik, honorary bearers were J. L. Cox and Albert Johns. Debbie’s casket bearer were Richard Gelbowitz, Josiah Vodenik, David Motz, Michael Lucas, James Johns, Paul Kenyon, Larry Benedict and William Paulsen. Shirley Russell was the musician, the hymns were “Far Side Banks of Jordan” and “In The Garden.” A special request of “Aprils” the song by Bobby Goldsboro “Honey”with Burial at Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry, Iowa. A time of lunch and fellowship was held at the Perry Elks Lodge at 2823 Willis Ave, following the services at the cemetery.


Debbie, as she was lovingly called and she much preferred, grew up in Minneapolis, Minburn, and Perry. She graduated Central Dallas High School in 1975. Debbie was united in marriage with Peter John Gelbowitz on Aug. 23, 1975, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Adel. They were blessed with two daughters, Christy and April. Debbie’s deepest love was her family, and she was devoted to each daughter and especially to her six grandchildren. Her love was unconditional, and she is greatly missed.


Debbie’s interests were facetiming with her grandchildren, watching soap operas, and Elvis movies repeatedly. She enjoyed decorating for the Holidays, which she did in great style. Family recalls she always had the “biggest” live Christmas trees. Debbie enjoyed eating at Red Lobster, her Diet Pepsi, and collecting dolls and bells. She was a former member of the Ladies of the Moose Lodge in Perry.


Debbie was preceded in death by her parents, George and Patricia and her stepfather Lauren Kenyon.


She will forever be in the hearts of her husband Peter; daughters Christy Motz (David) of Des Moines and April Lucas (Michael) of Omaha; her very precious grandchildren, Hudson, Bennett, Sully, and Reese Motz and Simon and Magdalene Lucas. Debbie is also survived by her siblings, Albert Johns (Marsha) of Montezuma; James Johns (Janine) of Redfield; Darla Cox (J.L.) of Sheldon; Tamara Benedict (Larry) of Perry; Mary Kimberly (Terry) of Omaha; Patricia Biondi (William) of Perry; and Paul Kenyon (Amber) of Perry; maternal aunts and uncle: Susie Halgrimson (David); Thomas Anderson (Darlene); and Janice Sturges; paternal aunts and uncles: Pat Meier, Norma Herridge; Doris Pantier; Verna Martin; Sandy Botts (Larry); Linda Olesen (Bob); and Donald Johns; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.


Memorials in her honor have been respectfully suggested to her family and may be left at Hastings Funeral Home, Box 204, Perry. www.hastingsfh.com