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Debra “Debi” Elaine Kortum passed away on March 20th, 2023 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. We love her very much and we will miss her. She joins her beloved husband of 43 years, Roger, who passed away four months ago.
Debi was born on May 1st, 1963 to Jennie Senrud Hutton and Joe “Dude” Hutton in Ekalaka, Montana. Debi was the second youngest of eleven children born to Jennie and Dude. She once bragged that she earned the standing long jump record at Ekalaka Elementary School by leaping an astonishing 7 feet in 2nd grade. Debi was always a brutally honest individual, and so we knew that this had to be true.
Debi had her first child in April of 1980, but she still managed to graduate with her GED on time with all of her classmates at Carter County High School. This kind of achievement was a testament to her fortitude and her value of hard work – character traits that would sustain her throughout her adult life.
Debi met and fell hopelessly in love with Roger Kortum, and the two were wed on August 31st, 1979 in Ekalaka. To this union were born two boys – Damien Kortum in April of 1980 and Trevor Kortum in April of 1987. Debi and Roger were very proud of their boys and loved them both very much.
Debi and Roger worked diligently and dutifully over the course of their lives, building and running a series of successful businesses, both in Ekalaka and in Gillette, Wyoming. Debi distinguished herself as a woman who successfully served as an oiler on a dragline for Caballo Rojo mine, and she was incredibly proud of that.
Debi had a nose for successful business endeavors, and she and Roger were especially proud of how they turned around the Main Street Market in Ekalaka and made it into a thriving part of the local community.
After retiring, Debi and Roger enjoyed their final years in the house they built in Ekalaka, drinking wine, doing crossword puzzles, eating well, and watching quality TV. Debi and Roger were also avid readers, and they consumed book after book. Both taught their sons the importance of literacy and how it can open up incredible new worlds.
Debi is survived by her sons Trevor (Carita) Kortum of Los Angeles, California and Damien (Julie) Kortum of Laramie, Wyoming. She is survived too by her sister Barb (Dick) Elmore of Newell, South Dakota; her sister Beverly (Marcel) Blevins of Stanley, North Dakota; her sister Dixie (Arnie) Erickson of Gillette, Wyoming; her brother Joe Hutton of Lewistown, Montana; her sister Sherry (Randy) Stambaugh of Sidney, Montana; and her brother Mike (Kimberley) Hutton of Erhard, North Dakota. She also leaves behind two beloved nieces, Jackie (Wes) Hoyt and Jimi Willson Fix, as well as grandniece Jordan Nelson and grandnephew Jade Fix. She leaves behind too Roger’s extended family, all of whom she loved dearly.
Debi was preceded in death by her husband Roger, her mother Jennie, her father Dude, her brother Jimmy, her sister Kathleen, her brother William, her brother Doug, her sister-in-law Yvonne Kincheloe, her brother-in-law Jack Willson, her nephew R.J. Stambaugh, her niece Barbie Erickson, her nephew Arnold Erickson, her brother-in-law Roger Stevens, her mother-in-law Edith Kortum, and her father-in-law Bud Kortum.
At Debi’s request, there will be no service.
We love you Mom.
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