Debbie Foster was everybody’s Mammaw


Deborah A. Foster, 70, of Roscoe, Illinois, was born on June 19, 1952, in Trumann, Arkansas, the daughter of Betty Jo Overturf and Travis Austin Owens. She worked in manufacturing many years and then as a quality control inspector for more than 20 years until she retired early due to illness.

Debbie passed away on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, from complications of end stage COPD. She was surrounded by family and friends, who were at her bedside, holding her hands as she took her last earthly breath and left us peacefully to meet Jesus.

For much of her adult life, Debbie battled severe depression and anxiety but remained steadfast in her faith and leaned on loved ones at times to help her through. She wanted others to know there is hope and encouraged them to never give up. 

After some challenging years, wonderful doctors and other people in her life helped her to better manage her symptoms. In 2007, she married Melvin Foster who adored and endlessly doted on her and cared for her selflessly until the day she passed away.

Debbie had a heart for God and read her Bible every day. She was fiercely devoted to and loved her family, friends, and fur-babies above all else in this world. Her favorite thing was to spend time with the people she loved. She had the kindest, softest heart for others and would generously and cheerfully give you all she had, even if that meant there was none left for herself.

Debbie had an infectious smile, the best silly giggle, and her laugh was contagious. She had great fun “acting a fool” (as she called it), telling amusing stories about the many childhood shenanigans she had with her cousins (especially Shay), even sharing an occasional “naughty” joke, which if you knew her, you know wasn’t all that naughty. 

Debbie enjoyed every holiday and took great pride in decorating nearly every inch of her home, especially for Christmas when she could display all the musical, dancing critters she collected over the years and decorate the tree with a ridiculous amount of tinsel. She was a great cook and loved to bake. So, she hosted many holiday and other special get-togethers, none of which would have been complete without her homemade banana pudding.

Debbie adored children and was affectionately called “Grandma Debbie” or “Mammaw,” not only by her grandchildren but also all their friends, as well as a multitude of neighborhood kids who came to know her over the years. She was fondly known as everybody’s Mammaw. Debbie loved being a wife and mother, but she loved being “Mammaw” most of all. She was truly one of a kind.

Debbie is deeply loved and will be missed greatly by her loving husband, Melvin Foster, daughter, Donna (Brian) Moore, stepson, Mark Foster, brother Brian Owens, grandchildren, Travis Gaut (Shannon), Keit Volose (formerly Caitlyn), Kyle Gaut (Midori), Tyler Gaut (Drea), Stephany Rinaldi, Shayne Rinaldi, Troy Morrison, April Owens, Krystal Owens, Jamie (Trenton) Joiner, Tiffany Taylor, Douglas Taylor Jr., numerous great grandchildren, cousins who were like siblings, many nieces & nephews, her best friend in the universe (Deb), a multitude of other wonderful friends, and an enormous, loving extended family.

Personal note to Karen Davila, who visited & called Debbie often: she wanted you to know you remained a daughter of her heart and that she appreciated you. To Maryann Taylor, Dave (Cory) Taylor, and Doug Taylor Sr.: she wanted you all to know that she also continued to love you & prayed for you.

Debbie is preceded in death by parents, Betty Jo (Overturf) Cook and Travis Austin Owens, special aunts, Joyce Frazier, Genelle Brummett, and Vernice Short.

A visitation was held Friday, October 21, 2022, and the funeral service will be at 12 noon on Saturday, October 22, 2022, with entombment immediately following. All services will be held at Sunset Funeral Home, 8800 N Alpine Rd, Machesney Park, IL 61115. 

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