Deb Cleason ’78 Oegema
OEGEMA, Mrs. Debra L. of Lawton, MI, died Sunday evening January 20, 2019 at age 62. Debra was born May 3, 1956 in Holland, Michigan a daughter of Donald and Esther (Lorenz) Cleason. She had been a Kalamazoo area
resident for over 40 years.
Debra taught elementary music with the Lawton Community Schools
for 14 years, before retiring to help watch her beloved grandchildren. She continued to accompany the school choirs until last year. She was also very active in the music department at CenterPoint Church for many years.
On June 9, 1979, she was united in marriage to her loving husband of 39 years, Gary Oegema, who survives, and with whom she was an inseparable partner in family life, faith and their teaching careers. Deb made an extraordinary impact on her friends, students and family by her strong, kind and hospitable demeanor. She courageously stood for the underdog, and her intuition and kindness helped her to truly see people. She always stood up for what she thought was right and good, and strove to bring about goodness to her loved ones. Deb wielded a quick wit, and her love of words
kept her family reaching for the dictionary. Her dedication to her husband, children and grandchildren was unparalleled, and her musical talents extraordinary.
Deb was preceded in death by her father and her infant sister Terri, and parents-in-law Casey and Phyllis Oegema of Grandville. Also surviving, mother Esther Cleason, 3 children, Rebekah Oegema (Rob Kean, finacee), Jonathan (Terra) Oegema, and Benjamin Oegema all of Holland, MI;
3 grandchildren; 4 siblings, Kitty Momburg of Ft. Worth, TX, Vicki (Eric) Bjork of Pepin,WI, Donald Cleason (Laura Grady) of Longmont, CO, and Joanne Cleason of Kalamazoo; sisters-in-law Ann (James) Leyndyke of Traverse City and Linda Milanowsky of Holland, and several aunts,
uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.