Once upon a time, in the far off land of Alhambra CA, a beautiful baby girl was born to a loving couple named Ray and Marie Karr, and they named her Debbra Jo. Debby grew up surrounded the love and friendship of her parents and three sisters – Kathy, Sandy and Becky. Her childhood years saw the family move from California to Coeur d’Alene ID, where they would remain for many, many years.
It was here in Coeur d’Alene, at the young age of 15, that Debby first met and was won-over by the awkward teenage advances of a young prince named Ron Shively. Very quickly, their youthful infatuation evolved into a deep and passionate love that they both recognized as unique and true. They were each other’s destiny, and they basked happily in their love and fortune at finding one another at such a young age.
Then one day in 1967, Debby’s father decided to throw caution to the wind, load his family into a truck and drive north to Canada in search of green pastures, eventually landing in Cheslatta. Finding herself in this strange new land with an imposed separation of 900 miles between her and her prince, Debby remained steadfast and true to her One Love, as did Ron.
Finally released from the educational shackles that bound her to this distant land, Debby graduated from LDSS in 1969 and immediately returned to her prince in Coeur d’Alene. With bursting heart and bountiful love, the young prince vowed to slay dragons and walk through fire for her, if only she would accept his heart and hand in marriage. Debby was of course overcome with excitement and happiness, and with the blessing of her parents, family and friends, joyfully pledged her undying love and devotion to Ron, and agreed to be his wife.
And so it was that Ron and Debby were wed on the 8th day of November that same year; the two became one and set out on their quest for happily ever after. A short while later, Uncle Sam’s call beckoned Ron overseas, and for one more year, the prince was again separated from his heart. Once the two were reunited, they vowed never to be separated or allow earthly obstacles between them again. The celebration of their union was strengthened with the birth of their first child in 1972, after which they returned to Burns Lake to establish their life together and raise a family. The happy couple joyously ushered a total of 5 of these blessings into the world over the next 10 years.
As they had done in the beginning stages of their courtship, Ron and Debby reveled in one another’s company and love, and remained devoted to each other throughout their forty years of marriage – every day living out the words of George Elliot; “What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting…”
And so it was that Debby took her leave from this life. Finally free of pain and worry, she joined her father who had waited so patiently beside her, and returned to the wind and nature that she loved so passionately. True to her promise to remain by Ron’s side, Debby’s spirit engulfs him, their children and grandchildren, her family and friends. This separation, like the ones before it, is physical and temporary. This fairytale has no ending, but awaits writing of the next chapter in which the prince and his maiden are again reunited in their love – a love that withstands all obstacles and transcends all separations.
Met by those who preceded her – Raymond Karr (Father), Marie & Clarence Saunders (Mother & Stepfather), Sean Corthell (Son-in-Law) – Deb is survived by Ron, her Husband & Soul mate of 40 years, Children & Grandchildren: Melanie Corthell (Tony, Wyatt, Jaimee, Ethan), Holly (Damian) Ashcroft, Ryan (Jessica) Shively (Caleb, Alyssa, Madyson), Kristopher (Ayumi) Shively (Kai, Nicholas, Lillian), Rachel (Ben) Reynolds (Isaiah), Sisters: Kathy (Denny) Hall, Sandy (Ron) Riggs, Becky (Bob) Peterson, and countless nieces, nephews, friends and family.
Special thanks from the family to Dr. Pretorius for his kindness and dedication, to the First Mennonite Church for donating their church and helping us with the service, and to the amazing friends our Deb had in this wonderful village of Burns Lake. Your incredible support and love is appreciated beyond words, and brings us much comfort during this difficult time.