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Debra J. Leonard

Debra J. Leonard

Debra Jean Leonard, nee Hager, 64, of Freeburg, IL, born September 20, 1957, in Belleville, IL, passed away on Tuesday November 2, 2021, in Evansville, IN. She was the office manager for Kolditz Engineering starting in 1975 and stayed with company through mergers with Energy Consultants and then USDI for 45 years total. She also served as assistant secretary to the Gas Utilities Alliance for over 30 years. She was a member of St. John United Church of Christ in New Athens, IL.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to many. She put her family first above all else. Her grandchildren were her greatest joy. She also enjoyed Friday Night Fish Fry Tours with her family, boating, camping, going to ballgames, travelling, history, gardening, and was the best baker.

She was preceded in death by her parents – Elmer and Lorena (Schwartz) Hager and one brother – David Hager.

Debra is survived by her husband – David W. Leonard of Freeburg, IL, two children – Ryan (Amanda) Andres of Smithton, IL, Carly (Jesse) Petri of New Athens, IL, one brother – Russell (Ruth) Hager of New Athens, IL, three nephews -Erik (Stephanie) Hager of New Athens, IL, Bryan (Lisa) Hager of New Athens, IL, Tim Hager of Arnold, MO, great nieces and nephews, and three granddaughters – Brooke Andres, Caroline Andres, and Harper Petri.

Memorials may be made to the New Athens Historical Society, American Red Cross or to the donor’s choice. Visitation: Friends and family will be gathering from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday November 5, 2021, at Heil-Schuessler Funeral Home in New Athens, IL and from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday November 6, 2021, at St. John United Church of Christ in New Athens, IL.

Funeral: Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday November 6, 2021, at St. John United Church of Christ in New Athens, IL with Rev. Dr. Robert Koch officiating.  Burial will follow at Oakridge Cemetery in New Athens, IL.

Heil-Schuessler Funeral Home in New Athens, IL is in charge of arrangements.

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  1. Gary and Jean Beggs says:

    Dear Family and Friends:
    It is so sad to hear of the death of a dear friend from our New Athens. The years have gone by so fast. Gary and I feel happy to have spent our youth with many from our little town including many friends and even more family.

  2. Chiyoko Louise Miller Gussin says:

    I am so sorry to hear this sad news. Russ worked with my dad at Peabody. Please accept my condolences.

  3. Lisa (Daubach) Clamors says:

    Ryan, Carly, and the rest of your family,

    I am so sad to hear this. Losing a mom is so hard and I pray for peace for all of you during this time. She was such a sweet lady, and it sounds like she was loved by many. Hold on to those memories and her love. ❤️

  4. Amy Heggemeier says:

    Ryan & Carly,
    I have so many childhood memories with your mom in them. My heart breaks for you both! You have my deepest sympathy!

  5. Rich and Donna Reuss says:

    Our thoughts and prayers for Debbie’s family. Always had a smile, kind personality & loving heart. Rest in Peace my freind.

  6. Mark Stehl says:

    So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to Debbie’s family and friends during this difficult time. She was always such a nice person, always smiling. We grew up in the same neighborhood back in the day. God Bless 🙏🏻

  7. Loren Kolditz says:

    Dear Family,

    I am so sorry to hear of your sudden loss. It was a terrible shock to all of us. Debbie was she most wonderful and faithful secretary anyone could have had. She worked from high school many years for me and then my associates. She was the best to all of us.

    Please accept my most sincere regrets and condolences.

    Loren

  8. Bruce Lischer says:

    Ryan, Carly, Russ and family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a great lady, always had that smile on her face .

    Prayers are with you!

  9. Billy & LaDonna Petri says:

    We love you, “Mama Debbie”! from “Papa Billy” and “Mama Donna”

  10. Andria Matzenbacher says:

    Ryan and Carly,
    I’m so saddened to hear of your mom’s passing. Please know the both of you and all of your family are in my thoughts during this most difficult time.

  11. Michael Buettner says:

    So sad to read this. I remember always seeing Debbie smiling. Our condolences to her family and friends. RIP Deb. Maybe grab your clarinet and join Gabriel for some hot tunes.

  12. Cathy Sinn Flowers says:

    Dear Russ, Ruth, et al,
    I am so sorry about Debbie’s sudden passing. I will keep her, and all those who loved her, in my prayers. May God grant you His Peace.

  13. Pam Hammel says:

    So sorry for your loss. What a great person and she will be so missed by so many. Rest In Peace Deb until we meet again

  14. Bruce & Nancy Nuernberger says:

    Saddened to hear fo Deb’s passing, she was a great friend and we had many happy times over the years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and the love of her life Dave. May she rest in Peace. 🙏🏻❤️

  15. Ron & Kim Hampton says:

    Our condolences to Deb’s family. She was such a kind and friendly gal and will be missed by many.

  16. Pamela Sinn-Hargan says:

    Russ and Ruth and Debbies family,
    I’m so very sorry for your loss, please know that she and the family are in my thoughts and prayers. She will be greeted by our Lord’s loving arms.
    Pamela and Myron Hargan

    • Lisa Phelps says:

      Russ and Ruth, and families, So sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you all at this sad time.
      Sincerely, Lisa and Randy Phelps, and Kerry and JoAnn Ritter.

  17. Jan Borkowski says:

    So sorry for your the loss of your mother. Condolences to Ryan (Amanda) and all of Debra’s family and friends. I know you will all miss her greatly.

  18. Lon Barkdoll says:

    Debra was one of my favorite persons in the world. I worked with her thru the GUA and USDI for over 40 years. I was president of the GUA for several years and always said “when Debra retires, I will retire from the GUA”. She was that important to me and to the GUA. I held my promise when she retired. I will miss her greatly.

    • Susie Owen says:

      Ryan, Carly, and family -. So sorry to hear about Debbie. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
      Susie and Keith Owen

20 Comments

  1. Debra was one of my favorite persons in the world. I worked with her thru the GUA and USDI for over 40 years. I was president of the GUA for several years and always said “when Debra retires, I will retire from the GUA”. She was that important to me and to the GUA. I held my promise when she retired. I will miss her greatly.

    Reply
    • Ryan, Carly, and family -. So sorry to hear about Debbie. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
      Susie and Keith Owen

      Reply
  2. So sorry for your the loss of your mother. Condolences to Ryan (Amanda) and all of Debra’s family and friends. I know you will all miss her greatly.

    Reply
  3. Russ and Ruth and Debbies family,
    I’m so very sorry for your loss, please know that she and the family are in my thoughts and prayers. She will be greeted by our Lord’s loving arms.
    Pamela and Myron Hargan

    Reply
    • Russ and Ruth, and families, So sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you all at this sad time.
      Sincerely, Lisa and Randy Phelps, and Kerry and JoAnn Ritter.

      Reply
  4. Our condolences to Deb’s family. She was such a kind and friendly gal and will be missed by many.

    Reply
  5. Saddened to hear fo Deb’s passing, she was a great friend and we had many happy times over the years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and the love of her life Dave. May she rest in Peace. 🙏🏻❤️

    Reply
  6. So sorry for your loss. What a great person and she will be so missed by so many. Rest In Peace Deb until we meet again

    Reply
  7. Dear Russ, Ruth, et al,
    I am so sorry about Debbie’s sudden passing. I will keep her, and all those who loved her, in my prayers. May God grant you His Peace.

    Reply
  8. So sad to read this. I remember always seeing Debbie smiling. Our condolences to her family and friends. RIP Deb. Maybe grab your clarinet and join Gabriel for some hot tunes.

    Reply
  9. Ryan and Carly,
    I’m so saddened to hear of your mom’s passing. Please know the both of you and all of your family are in my thoughts during this most difficult time.

    Reply
  10. We love you, “Mama Debbie”! from “Papa Billy” and “Mama Donna”

    Reply
  11. Ryan, Carly, Russ and family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a great lady, always had that smile on her face .

    Prayers are with you!

    Reply
  12. Dear Family,

    I am so sorry to hear of your sudden loss. It was a terrible shock to all of us. Debbie was she most wonderful and faithful secretary anyone could have had. She worked from high school many years for me and then my associates. She was the best to all of us.

    Please accept my most sincere regrets and condolences.

    Loren

    Reply
  13. So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to Debbie’s family and friends during this difficult time. She was always such a nice person, always smiling. We grew up in the same neighborhood back in the day. God Bless 🙏🏻

    Reply
  14. Our thoughts and prayers for Debbie’s family. Always had a smile, kind personality & loving heart. Rest in Peace my freind.

    Reply
  15. Ryan & Carly,
    I have so many childhood memories with your mom in them. My heart breaks for you both! You have my deepest sympathy!

    Reply
  16. Ryan, Carly, and the rest of your family,

    I am so sad to hear this. Losing a mom is so hard and I pray for peace for all of you during this time. She was such a sweet lady, and it sounds like she was loved by many. Hold on to those memories and her love. ❤️

    Reply
  17. I am so sorry to hear this sad news. Russ worked with my dad at Peabody. Please accept my condolences.

    Reply
  18. Dear Family and Friends:
    It is so sad to hear of the death of a dear friend from our New Athens. The years have gone by so fast. Gary and I feel happy to have spent our youth with many from our little town including many friends and even more family.

    Reply

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