In Loving Memory

Deborah J. Norris

January 19, 1956 - July 28, 2023

Funeral Service LiveStream

Thursday Aug 3rd  10:15 am

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Deborah Jean Norris went home to Heaven on July 28, 2023, surrounded by her family and loved ones. She was born on January 19,1956, at Brookley Air Force Base in Mobile, AL.

Debbie was preceded in her journey by her husband of 49 years, Russell Norris and her father, Don Young. She leaves behind her mother, Gladys Javes; her siblings, Ron (Lorie) Young, Susan Young, Danelle (Jon) Seubert, and Vicki Moore; her children, Valarie (Lee) Rumbley, Melissa Norris, Ryan (Kourtney) Norris, and Chelsea (Grant) Etheredge; her grandchildren, Olivia Rumbley, Owen Rumbley, Millie Rumbley, Liam Norris, Mason Cosgrove, Kennedy Norris, Caroline Etheredge, Karen Norris, Henry Etheredge, Charlotte Etheredge, Russell Norris, and David Etheredge; as well as many dear friends, including Robert Wilkins.

Debbie was a loving and devoted mother. Proverbs 31 tells us that the ideal woman is virtuous, strong, and selfless. This perfectly describes the sacrificial love she displayed to her children. She loved worship music, and her children remember her praying for them quite often. She was a Christian and had an abundant love for her Savior. We take comfort in knowing she is free from the pain and suffering of this world and has redeemed her reward in Heaven. Many of her friends would describe her as witty with a wonderful sense of humor. She enjoyed spending time with her friends and loved to dance. She was very creative and artistic. She loved to work on projects around the house and in her yard and was a gifted seamstress. She loved teaching others and was constantly learning about new things. Debbie could do just about anything she set her mind to. She truly made the world a more beautiful place.

Debbie was a discerning and intelligent woman. She was an LPN for many years and worked her way to her Bachelor’s in Nursing degree. She remained at the very top of her class in nursing school and won the spirit of nursing award when she received her degree at The University of South Alabama in 1995. She touched many lives as a nurse in various roles but predominately worked as a home health and home infusion nurse for many years. She loved to comfort patients in their own home environment and made deep connections with many long-term patients. She was truly a gifted nurse and an inspiration to her children, all of whom have worked in the medical field. Her compassion and advocacy for her patients and others will leave a lasting impression on many. Debbie moved and inspired us all with her decision to be an organ donor. Through her death, she will affect nearly 100 lives as an organ and tissue donor. This will leave a lasting legacy and this heroic act will give hope to many.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 3, 2023, at Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, at 10:15AM. The family will receive friends for a time of visitation beginning at 9:00AM. Graveside services will follow at 12:00PM at Valhalla Cemetery, 8730 Sims Road, Eight Mile, AL.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Debbie’s memory to Donate Life America at or to LifeQuest at living-donation/

Expressions of condolences for the family may be made at Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.


  1. Danelle Seubert

    I will miss my sister who I was just beginning to know her as a friend. But I know she loved me, I loved her .I will miss her dearly, love poo bear.

  2. Susan Young

    My sister was a very wonderful person, happy most of the time and very compassionate in all she did and who she loved. Robert Wilkins was a rock in the last couple years for her. She grew to love Robert very much and he loved her so much also , they spent a lot of time together and helped each other through some very tough times. She will be sorely missed by all. Love you big sister.

  3. Carman Godfrey

    Ms. Debbie was kind and fun and generous. She loved her friends and family well, especially her late husband, Russell, and their beautiful children together. Her creativity was infectious, and I loved to laugh with her.
    Thank you, Ms. Debbie, for giving me my best friend. I told you at the hospital that would always take care of her, and I will. Thank you for my homemade bonnet. I was the most stylish nurse around during the pandemic. Thank you for your dedication to your patients, and thank you for your selfless gift of life. We will miss you.

  4. Olivia Rumbley

    Our hearts are broken at the sudden loss of my grandmother, but we rejoice in the fact that she is with her one true love, Russell, in heaven. I imaging they are already laughing, catching up, and praising their Heavenly Father together. I know how blessed I am to have excellent role models for what a biblical family should look like; she was an loving wife, nurse and mother while Russell worked hard to take care of her & her children. While I was growing up, Meme would often come pick me up to take me on all kinds of adventures. During the week we would study, sew, and cook. On the weekends went to festivals, church, lawnmower races, and so much more.

    She inspired me more than she will ever know through her selfless act of organ donation. This world will truly never be the same without her in it.

  5. Melissa Chenier

    Even though I know you didn’t want to spend 4 hours with me in the recovery room, I’m so blessed that I got to talk to you and hear all your wonderful stories. You loved all your kids and grandkids and hearing you brag about them made my heart so happy. Thank you for giving all of us Val too! She is an amazing friend, nurse, instructor, and such a blessing to everyone who meets her.

  6. Vicki Moore

    My sister Debbie was indeed a forgiving person. She was generous with wisdom and advice and love. I will never forget her encouraging words to me last year when I was broken, hurting and felt like the biggest failure in the world… she wrote to me these words…….
    “Hang on! Your miracle is on the way in Jesus name. I’m sorry you are feeling low but you are no failure. This will be turned in your favor because you love the Lord. You know this! I’m praying for ya ❤️”
    She always was ready to give love. Generous with it. Always willing to pray and give encouragement. She didnt deserve to leave this life the way she did. It isn’t fair. But I can only imagine what it is like for her in heaven and what she is seeing right now. She loved Jesus and no doubt His was the first face she saw and His was the first neck she hugged. I will never forget her. I also am so proud to hear that she saved so many lives through organ donation.
    Thank you Debbie for simply being you and for loving me even when I didnt deserve it. Hug daddy’s neck for me. Until we meet again.
    Your little sister,

  7. Shirley Wise Morgan

    Dear Gladys and “The Apples of Debbie’s Eye”, Please accept my deepest sympathy at this sorrowful time in your lives. I won’t say in your time of “loss” – as Debbie isn’t “lost” – y’all know EXACTLY where she is – resting in the loving arms of Jesus and reunited with loved ones who have gone on before and waiting for loved ones she left to arrive! I didn’t know Debbie; but, I know she was a beautiful person, inside and outside, as I know her mommy and as we say here in the South: “The apple doesn’t fall from the tree.” God meets us in our hour of deepest need and I pray He will be with all of you now, and in the days ahead, and comfort you with His love and presence. I pray for y’all the peace which passeth all understanding. With sympathy, love, and prayers, Shirley Lacey Morgan, a cousin

  8. Ashley Briggs

    I have heard so many wonderful things and stories about Debbie! One of her greatest legacies she will leave is her children,- One that I know of is Valarie. I loved reading how Debbie was dedicated to her friends, church, that she was a stream-stress (all in the details with patience) and won a spirit award in nursing school. The spirit award tells me she carried a positive attitude, she held respect and valued her education. I also know how dedicated she was to her late husband Russell and how well she cared for him until he passed. I am reassured they are reunited with our Lord and Savior. God bless her soul.

  9. Valarie Rumbley

    I am grateful to have had such an incredible mother. Mom was an inspirational woman who loved her friends and family. She demonstrated a selfless desire to serve her family and friends in times of need.

    She was an adventurous soul and she loved a project to complete. I recognize now that I was one of the many projects that she worked really hard on and I hope I will turn out the way she envisioned.

    God gifted mom with a trustworthy and loving spirit and those around her could sense it. She often joked that she must have to type of face that said – you can trust me, because people would spontaneously open up to her. She was a gift.

    Many years ago, Mom inspired me to become a mother and a nurse and I pray that I honor her memory in my endeavors as both. It is difficult to comprehend that my mom’s time here on earth is complete and Jesus has called her home. I can not fathom why He did this so soon, but I trust that He is good, just as my mother trusted Him.

    In the last few days, so many of us have reached for a phone to try to call her to ask her a question or to tell her something because we simply can not reconcile that she is not here. This loss has been devastating for all her family and dear friends here on earth, however, we can all rest assured she is present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5). We miss her so much but find comfort in knowing that she is home in heaven.

  10. Carrie Seubert

    Please know our hearts and prayers are with your family at this time. Debbie was taken too soon, however rest assured she is with our Lord and Savior.

  11. Chelsea

    My mothers was a tremendous person. She was very devoted to her children. Many of my siblings joke that she was almost like a secretary, in the sense that she was able to coordinate and keep up with all 4 of us and our education/activities. With 4 children of my own, I look back and I’m amazed by how she was able to do this while working and going to school. She was offered a scholarship to get her masters but ultimately chose to not pursue it. When my brother was struggling in school she took him out and homeschooled him for a couple of years.
    She understood him and wanted to give him the best possible chance to succeed. I know they both reflect on that as a special time together.
    My mother and I used to love to go to yard sales, antique malls, and thrift stores. She had an appreciation for old things and the character they bring to a home. I cherished spending time with her at flea markets and hunting for depression glass in her favorite ballerina pattern.
    Sometimes she would let me pick out a pair of antique gloves or an old clutch purse. I still have those. I recently took my own daughter to an antique store and let her do the same. Both of my girls remind me of her in many ways.
    My mother was there when my oldest child was born. She was so proud, she said it was amazing watching your own baby become a mother. She was able to be there to help me recover and I was a wreck when she had to leave to go back to Alabama. In 2019, I miscarried a baby. I had a really difficult time grappling with the fact that I would never know my baby.
    She was there to comfort me and told me surely that baby is in heaven with Mamaw and PawPaw. This has always been a comfort to me. I hope that maybe she’s there holding that baby and smiling down at me.
    Later on, she took care of my father for many years when he was unable to care for himself.
    She did not like leaving his side and refused to send him to a care facility. She wanted him to die at home in the house they lived in over 45 years, with his family surrounding him. I will always be grateful for her being able to care for him, I didn’t worry because she was an excellent caregiver and I knew he was in the best hands possible. I know that being a sole caregiver for a long period of time takes its toll on a person. She demonstrated the wedding vow “in sickness and in health” and “till death do us part” through caring for him right up until the very end.
    The last time I saw my mom in July, she was truly happy, and I’m so glad I got to give her those hugs. I would give anything to be able to talk to her just one more time.

  12. Chelsea Rester

    Debbie Norris was a remarkably beautiful human being. She had this gift, this acute awareness of others and their needs. She had this infectious joy that was not easily deterred and this profound wisdom that was not diluted by platitudes. She always knew how to cheer you up, to put the wind back in your sails, and always found a solution to a problem. Some of my fondest memories were spent at the Norris’ house. Debbie was always doing something. If it was building a pond in her backyard, a bedroom makeover with golden walls, or the time she decided to stain the living room concrete red. The home was always filled with so much creativity and life. She was incredibly supportive. I remember how she taught Chelsea and I to make Christmas mugs to raise money for a mission trip. I didn’t think anyone would buy something made by us, but she made it seem like anything was possible if we just put our mind to it and with her it usually was possible. Thank you Debbie for being the amazing woman you were and all for the joy and love you poured into not only my life but countless others. Thank you for the happy memories. The world is truly dimmer without you in it.

  13. Robert Wilkins

    I met Debbie Norris in 1977 when me and her husband began a life long relationship threw archery tournaments and bow hunting for deer ! Years later after Russell pasted on to glory and my wife Michele of 33 years went home to be with the lord after a long battle with colon and brain cancer Debbie and I started to date and do things we enjoyed like watching movies and go to our favorite restaurant! Over time Debbie and I became best friends and very very close and Debbie made a huge impact on my life ! I will truly miss her the rest of my life because she was just a great person and so caring! I will always love you Debbie Norris !


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