Debra Jo Gensmer Miller
1958 ~ 2014

Debbie Miller was born to the late Alvin Gensmer and Kathleen Caughlin in Horicon, WI on October 5, 1958. She passed away peacefully in her sleep in Lehi, UT on May 5, 2014. She is survived by her husband, Greg Miller, her mother, Kathleen Bascombe, siblings: Mary (Kevin) Kuzdas, Dick (Linda) Gensmer, Ann Peters, Sue (Paul) Marquardt, Sandy (Eugene) Rossing, Heidi (Barry) Lueck, five children: Kathy (Reese) Reynolds, Ashley (Mike) Nelson, Michael (Maranda), Ross, Mark (Audrey), and 18 (soon to be 20) grandchildren.

Debbie was a woman who loved people, and the more she loved you, chances are, the more she would pester and tease you. She was quick with a smile and a joke, and eager to embrace people around her. Debbie’s was a life of different chapters. The first was her childhood in Wisconsin, where she grew up with her six siblings and loving mother and father. She was an energetic and driven young lady who loved the dramatic arts. She was a great student, ultimately moving on to nursing school in which field she began to work.

While she was a nursing student the next chapter started taking shape, when she met a gentle young medical resident, Greg Miller. Through Greg she was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which she soon joined. Her family and her faith would be the center of the rest of her life. It wasn’t long before she and Greg began dating more seriously, and eventually were married in the LDS Washington D.C. temple. They soon began their family and Debbie made the decision to stop working as a nurse and dedicate herself to her rapidly growing family.

After medical school, Greg and Debbie moved their family to Jasper, IN, where Debbie quickly became an iconic super-mom, organizing dinner clubs, serving as PTA president, tole painting, cross stitching, scrapbooking, arranging children’s play groups, and serving vigorously in her church and community. Despite having a full house of 5 rambunctious young children, Debbie was a model of energy and vivacity both as a mother and a servant of others. She was the mom with whom even her kids’ friends loved to hang out. When her own kids weren’t home, that didn’t stop their friends from stopping by the house, just to hang out with Debbie. She could poke fun and crack jokes with the best of them, and they always felt welcomed and loved in her home. And all this she did while managing through the impossibly unpredictable schedule of an ob/gyn husband.

After her last child was born, the Millers moved to Orem, UT, where the next chapter of her life would commence. It was one of faith and patience, as Debbie was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which became extreme and, on more days than not, even debilitating. Debbie’s quick wit and infectious smile didn’t wane, but her strength was severely depleted and it broke her heart that in many ways she had lost the ability to care for, serve and support so many people as she once had.

However, in the ways she could, she continued to reach out and be a shoulder for those in need. She was always checking in with her loved ones, looking for ways to be helpful. She was delightfully unpredictable with her grandchildren, taking them to the hotel for the evening, sneaking treats and gifts into their bags, letting them stay up all hours of the night to watch movies, eat candy, and play games. All this she would do, knowing that the price would be significant pain and difficulty for her in subsequent days and weeks, but she would do this nonetheless, to ensure her grandchildren knew her, and felt her genuine love for them.

The last two years of her life were spent serving a mission for her church in Nauvoo, Illinois. It was an appropriate closing chapter of her mortal life; serving other people and God as well as she was able.

We remember Debbie with her sparkling smile, bubbly laugh, and wry sense of humor. We will miss her deeply, but are comforted in our shared faith that she is free from pain and at peace in the presence of our Creator. We love you Debbie, and God be with us all until we meet again.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm at the Pheasant Pointe LDS Stake Center Chapel, 890 West 3070 North, Lehi. Family and friends may call from 11:30 to 1:30 prior to the service at the church. Donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.

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