Debra “Deb/Debbie” Ponce, age 58, died at Hospice Care, Inc in Madison, WI on Friday, April 1st, 2011, following a short, but courageous battle with Pancreatic/Bile Duct Cancer.
She was born Debra Ann Justinger on March 7th, 1953, in Sheboygan, WI. Debra lived in Illinois and Iowa for many years before returning to Wisconsin (living in Sheboygan, Dodge, and Dane Counties) in the late 80”s. On August 23, 1974, she was united in marriage to Sabas “Sam” Ponce in Asbury, IA.
Deb had many health problems over the years, but braved them all. She endured a very traumatic childhood and came out swinging. Debra was a strong, capable woman and faced adversity head on and found her match in her husband. They travelled the country and had many adventures before settling down and having two children.
Debra was a student at Stoughton High School and graduated in 1971, while there she also attended classes at East High School in Madison and classes at UW-Madison. She later went on to college at UW-Whitewater and returned to school in her later years and earned a degree in English, specializing in writing and publishing.
With a will of fire Debra lived her life for her family, for her friends, and took up causes for those who could not themselves. She formerly worked for the State of Wisconsin with Migrant Rights and received a Governor”s Commendation for all her hard work and energy.
Debra is survived by her children, her daughter, Jessica Ponce-Sierra of Madison, WI; son, Brian Ponce of Waupun, WI; two grandchildren, Joshua Ponce-Sierra of Waupun and Paul Ponce-Price of Oostburg, WI; middle brother, William “Bill” (Diane) Justinger of Francis Creek, WI; older sister, Bonnie (Junior) Wolfinger of Kaukauna, WI; She is further survived by in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends that loved her dearly. Debra was preceded in death by her husband, Sabas “Sam” Ponce, in May of 2010; parents, Cora (Klemme) and Al Justinger; her middle sister, Judith “Judy” Straussburger; older brother, Dale Justinger; Clara and Jacob Verhage (her foster parents and biological great aunt and uncle), grandparents on both sides, and many other relatives.
Funeral services will be at Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam on Thursday, April 7 at 2:00 PM with visitation from 11am to 2pm. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Gardens.
The Murray Funeral Home, 131 East Maple Avenue in Beaver Dam, is caring for the family. To leave online condolences, for directions and other information, please visit our website at www.MurrayFH.com.
Thursday, April 7th, 2011, 11:00am – 2:00pm
Thursday, April 7th, 2011, 2:00pm
Highland Memory Gardens-Beaver Dam