Debra Sue Omans died June 22, 2019, after a hard fight against multiple organ failure. She was born in Woodburn, Ore., the third daughter of Max and Arlene (Smolnisky) Omans. After starting school at Riverside in Albany, Ore., the family, which now included a younger brother and sister, moved to Salem Ore., where Deb attended Brush College, Walker Jr. High, and graduated from McNary High in 1971.
She worked a variety of jobs before putting herself through Linn-Benton Community College, where she earned her certification in water/waste water treatment. Deb gradually achieved higher level certification in water treatment and spent most of her 30+ year career working for the City of The Dalles. She was a conscientious and hard-working employee who took pride in providing clean, safe drinking water.
Outspoken and stubborn by nature, Deb became even more so by working in a male-dominated field. But under that brash exterior was a caring, giving person. Those lucky enough to call her friend also knew her fierce loyalty and willingness to pitch in when help was needed. She was funny, opinionated, curious, adventurous, and alternately endearing and exasperating! Deb was a truly unique individual, who faced the pain and frustration of her last few years with courage and humor. She never failed to thank those who attended to her needs. She will be deeply missed by many!
Debra Sue was preceded in death by her father, mother, and brother, John Omans. She is survived by sisters Nikki Envela and Carole Omans of Salem, and Kathi (Rod) Robbins of Drain, Ore. She is also survived by nephews Ruxton Schuh (Lauren Neel), Jason Schuh (Erin Finot), Dakota and Brandon Robbins.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Deb by family and friends at a later date.
When Deb was just a teenager, she worked and saved to buy and train her first love, an Arabian-Quarter Horse filly named Mayday. A long list of four-footed friends followed over the years, so in keeping with her love of animals, donations may be made in her honor to the animal rescue group of your choice.
Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.