Deborah Anne Reker was born January 3rd 1950 in Xenia, Ohio. She was the forth child of T. Gerald Babb and Anna Florence Babb. Deborah’s early life was spent on a farm. The family spent a number of years living at a college in Kentucky so her father could enter the ministry. Deborah’s growing years were spent moving from one town to another in the area of Indiana and Kentucky in the course of her father’s ministerial career.
Deborah graduated from high school in Calhoun, Kentucky in 1968. She then attended Milligan College in Tennessee. It was there that she met her future husband Peter L. Reker. They were married in August of 1971. Their marriage had the duration of 52 fulfilling years until the time of Deborah’s passing.
Deborah received her B. A. degree from Milligan College in May of 1972 with a major in psychology and a minor in education. She began teaching in Aurora, Ohio in 1974. She and her husband moved to Phoenix, AZ in 1978 and Deborah began a long and rewarding teaching career in Glendale, AZ. She received her Master of Education degree from Northern Arizona University in 1996.
On October 9th, 1981 Deborah gave birth to Michael Louis Reker, her single child. She was an attentive and caring mother throughout the growing years of Michael’s life and into adulthood. Michael has always considered his mother of prime importance in his life.
Deborah began a new phase of her career in education in 2006. She became a librarian at a school in Madison District. In 2009 she became Library Coordinator for Madison School District with eight libraries to manage. She received the Lamp of Learning award from Madison District for her outstanding service in education. Deborah retired from the field of education in 2016.
Deborah passed away on January 21st, 2023 after a year long bout with brain cancer. Her radiant smile will always be missed by family, friends, and all the many people who came into contact with her. Deborah’s was a life well lived in service and dedication.
I’ve known Deborah and the Rekers most of my life. She was always in a great mood and a lot of energy when I saw her. I’ll miss her laughter and sense of humor. Even struggling with her health this past year she still had that wonderful laugh. I’ll miss her thoughtfulness too. The pumpkin cookies she’d make for my brother and little gifts she’d give me from time to time. She loved her family very much and my condolences to you and her friends. She had a big presence full of joy and will be missed by many people that were lucky to meet her.
I met Deborah at our 3rd grade sons baseball game. From that moment we became good, fast friends. Right away she became a supportive, loving and wonderful laughing friend. I will miss her beautiful loving spirit for The Holy Mother, Our Lord and her favorite Saints. She always uplifted my spirit with a tad of wisdom she had just discovered. I pray I won’t forget the sound of her beautiful laughter and non stop smile.
Thank you Pete, Michael for taking such loving care of her 24/7…and Michael’s wife Nomjit as well. There was a short time Deborah thought she was total Cancer free. Her spirit relished every second of the day. She was so ever greatful to Our Lord, even as her days came to an end.
She is with Our Lord and her loved ones while she adds her laughter and smiles. How beautiful heaven is right now. But I can’t imagine she’s not too far from Pete and Michael. Thank you God for allowing me to meet and love Deborah’s spirit.
My prayers, love and thoughts are with all of Deborah’s family!✝️
Deb was one of the kindest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. She tolerated the “kid sister” of college friends, but better still she continued to make me feel welcomed throughout the years. I’ll hold on to my memories of her sunny smile and infectious laugh. Thinking of you, Pete and Michael
Deborah was a friend, a mentor, an inspiration, and a cheerleader. I loved her smile, her laugh, her wisdom, her teaching, her spirituality, her humility, her acceptance, her understanding, her ‘down-to-earth-ness’, her ‘real-ness’, her everything. She inspired me and recharged me. I know I will miss her every single day. I can only imagine how profound her loss is for you. I know she is continuing to surround you with love an guidance. You are in my heart and in my prayers.
I will forever think of Debbie as a beautiful, cheerful, and genuine person, always willing to help others. Sharing in hiking, camping and other such gatherings with college friends are some of my fondest memories of the joy Debbie brought to those occasions, each and every time. She had concern for others and would use her honest and forthright nature as a tool to help when necessary. I recall one particular occasion many, many years ago in which I was on the receiving end of one of her candid and sincere conversations. She let me know in no uncertain terms that I needed to get my deadbeat friends out of the house my newly married wife and I rented. Their presence was creating undue stress on my bride who was doing all the cooking and cleaning for four extra men in our house! I am forever grateful to Debbie for helping to save my young marriage. My deepest condolences to Pete and Michael.
There are so many things about Deb that I will always remember. Her joyful laugh and open-hearted honesty are top of the list. I met Deb and Pete in the early 1980’s as my husband Mark and I were walking toward the SRF temple one beautiful Sunday morning. All of a sudden, Mark, Deb and Pete let out surprised and wondrous yelps of delight. The three of them had attended Milligen College in Tennessee years before and had no idea that they had all moved to Phoenix. I’m not sure why, but it seemed that every time I saw Deb we both squealed with joyous giggles, even if the reason for our being together was serious. Blessings, sweet one. I will always hold you dear and consider myself fortunate to have know you. My deepest condolences flow to Pete and Michael. May your faith, happy memories and deep love sustain and comfort you.
Deborah was one of the most kind and genuine people I have ever met. She always made me feel welcome in her home and treated me like I was part of the family. I have so many fond memories from my childhood of hanging out at the Reker house. Deborah had an amazing way of making you feel important and cared for anytime you were in her presence. I will miss her laughter and motherly hugs. I will always be grateful for having known her and I am so sorry for your loss Mike and Pete.
Michael R Gresham
Deborah, the effervescence of your life, love and friendship always brought a smile to my face and to those around you. You will always be in my heart and thoughts – I will miss you. Pete and Michael thank you for letting me be part of your lives and for sharing such a wonderous soul.
George and I met Deborah and Pete in the 1980’s at our Temple. A very sweet and caring couple. We will always remember Deborah as a joyful, friendly, and helpful person. She always had a sweet smile.
Our deepest condolences to Pete, Michael and Nomjit.
Love and Blessings
Johnette and George Fawley
I have thought of Debbie many times over the years and have always remembered how kind, supportive, and loving she was. She provided light and comfort to me growing up, and motivated me to become a teacher as well. I know she has positively influenced many lives, and her memory will continue to do so. Pete and Michael, I am so very sorry for your loss, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.