According to her obituary, Deb worked at Ecolab in Joliet for 37 years, most recently in the shipping and receiving department.
"She was like one of the guys," Clifford said. "She had a great sense of humor. She wasn't afraid to tell the truck drivers what she thought if she was getting enough respect from them."
Wildlife trusted Deb. She had two deer feeders and actually broke her leg in two places one time after she fell in the snow while trying to climb up a hill to feed them, Clifford said.
She gave them corn every day and they got to know her and trust her," Clifford said. "She could almost come right up to them. She would slowly refill the feeder, stake a couple steps back and then they would come to eat. She had those deer really trained."
Deb also put out peanuts every day for the squirrels to keep them out of the bird feeders because yes, Deb had bird feeders, too.
In 2014, Deb was diagnosed with breast cancer. Clifford said doctors caught the cancer early "because she always took good care of herself."
"It took her awhile to get over it," he said. "She went through chemo and radiation and then she was OK."
But in 2017, Deb began having trouble with her vision. And then in February 2017, Deborah pulled out in front of a car she didn't see coming out of the post office, Clifford said.
he eye doctor, Clifford said, told Deb, "You need to see a doctor. You've got something going on in your brain."
It was a "massive tumor," Clifford said, a glioblastoma and completely unrelated to the breast cancer and very near her brain stem.
Determined to fight it, Deb underwent "radical brain surgery," so radical that Deb had 47 staples.
"They got out all the cancer they could, but it was in too deep," Clifford said.