Cover photo for Deborah Matthews's Obituary
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1959 Deborah 2024

Deborah Matthews

September 18, 1959 — February 28, 2024

Ekalaka

Deborah “Debbie” Matthews, 64, of Ekalaka, formerly of Citrus Heights, California, passed away on Wednesday, February 28th at Dahl Memorial Healthcare in Ekalaka due to several complications arising from diabetes.

Debbie was born on September 18th, 1959 to Eddie and Beverly (Jones) Graham in Lima, Ohio, the younger of two children. The family moved to California when she was 3. As a child, Debbie enjoyed roller skating and hanging out with friends at the neighborhood park. She also adored all things Mickey Mouse, a love that continued throughout her life.

Eventually Debbie met and married Bob Matthews. To this union, four children were born. The couple later divorced.

Debbie held various jobs over her many years in California. She worked in retail and then as a babysitter and cleaner before eventually finding long-term employment as a property manager. Debbie even moved to an apartment complex she managed. Three of her four children also moved to the complex.

These were some of the best times of Debbie’s life, as she grew very close with her large, growing family. It was around this time that she proudly earned the nickname “Amma” — short for grandma — by her many grandchildren. Until the time of her passing, most of her family still continued to use the nickname. The family spent most days at each other’s apartments, or around the complex’s swimming pool. Debbie especially enjoyed those warm days around the pool with her grandchildren.

In 2018, due to health and to be closer to one of her daughters, Debbie and her mother packed up their belongings into her minivan and moved to Ekalaka. Over the next few years, Debbie’s health continued to decline. In 2022, she made the decision to become a full-time resident at Dahl Memorial Healthcare in Ekalaka. During her time at Dahl, she enjoyed frequent visits from her family, especially as some of them hold employment at the facility.

Debbie’s family is grateful for the compassionate care she received from all of the staff at Dahl Memorial.

Debbie is survived by her mother, Beverly Graham; four children, Jolene Roth, Amber Kidwell, Melissa (Eric) Lovec, Christine Matthews; 10 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; one niece and one nephew. She is preceded in death by her father, Eddie Graham, and her brother, Mark Graham.

 

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