Debbie Lynn Durbin (63), of Custer, Washington, passed away peacefully into the waiting arms of our Lord on Monday, July 10, 2017 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham, Washington.
Debbie was born to William (Bill) and Dolores (Dee) Crandell on June 29, 1954 at St. Joseph’s hospital in Bellingham. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Timothy (Tim), daughter, Tia and husband Matt, Son Trevor and wife, Teresa, daughter, Tara, son, Travis, and six grandchildren, Dakota (18), Montana (13), Jordan (13), Brian (11), Hannah (11), and Joey (8). She is also survived by her mother, Dee, her brother Robert, and her sister, Cheryl, her nephews Derek and Matthew, and her great niece, Summer, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and the numerous “extra” kids she took under her wing and loved in her lifetime…and of course, her furry 5th child, her dog Casey.
Debbie was born to William (Bill) and Dolores (Dee) Crandell at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham, Washington on June 29, 1954 where she grew up making memories of jumping off the hayloft with her siblings and cousins at her grandparents farm, spending summers with her cousins, and cruising the line between Herfy’s and Bunks restaurants with her friends…something that continued after she married her husband Tim.
On April 15th 1972 Debbie married Tim, the love of her life, at Calvary Temple in Bellingham. There she began a full and exciting new life. Tim and Debbie spent the first 5 years of their marriage having fun with friends, cruising their ’66 Corvette, and spending much of their time doing things with ‘Corvette’s Northwest’, the club that Debbie took great joy in and held title of Secretary for several years.
In their mid 20’s Tim and Debbie started a family with their first daughter Tia…followed by Trevor, Tara, and Travis (Chuck). With 4 kids life was always an adventure for Debbie…especially when all 4 kids were teenagers at the same time, ranging from 13 to 19. But, that wasn’t enough “kid” for her. She decided that opening up a daycare in her home was a good way to be able to be home with her kids and help those who couldn’t be. Thus began the journey of accumulating her “extra” kids. Whether you started out as a friend of one of her own kids, became one of her daycare kids, or joined the family through church and other avenues, she eventually just became Mom. And although she may have had literally HUNDREDS of extra kids, she had the beautiful gift of making each one feel as if they were the only one that mattered…that they were her favorite…at any given time. If you were one of her “extras” we hope you’re smiling right now, as you know you’re one of her special ones.
Debbie truly enjoyed entertaining and being around people. Starting from early on in their marriage, Tim and Debbie started throwing club parties and block parties, and then upon moving out to Custer it was a regular event to have the themed ranch parties in the summer that Debbie so loved to put time and energy into. After many years, ranch parties gave way to 4th of July parties and any other time that she deemed a good time to have people over. The phrase, “The more the merrier” became so much more than words in the Durbin family. It became a mantra and something that Tim and Debbie instilled in all 4 of their kids. The more the merrier. EVERYONE is welcome.
As the years passed there are a few things that never ever changed in Debbie. She loved spending time with her family over anything else. Every weekend or holiday was a chance for family dinners, picnics at the bay, or a visit on the porch.
There was very little she loved more than family vacations on the Oregon Coast. Camping, walking the beaches with her husband and kids, visiting lighthouses, collecting unique rocks, sand dollars, and sea shells. Watching the waves, playing with jelly fish, sea anemones, and anything else they could find in tide pools and overturned beach rocks.
Debbie loved her grandkids with everything in her. Although things got tough for her physically in the last few years of her life, she made up for it in other ways. She spent time collecting and gathering things for memories boxes she kept for each one of them. She wrote them letters and she had long conversations about any and everything. She colored with them, painted with them, and anything else that she could find to do with a trip to Michaels and ideas from the internet.
More than anything, she was steadfast and unchanging in her belief and love of Christ. She was a prayer warrior who spoke with God for everything all the time. In good times she was praying her thanks. In hard times she was praying for guidance. And more than once she prayed for the safety and consciences of her children, as they went out into the world to find themselves and their place in it…and more than once her prayers saved them. She always taught her kids that more than anything else in the world, your belief and faith in God was the most important thing in your life, and ALL else is nothing without Him. Her faith never failed and her prayers never ceased. She prayed on behalf of her husband, her children, her friends, and anyone who asked for them…as well as many who didn’t.
As we say goodbye to wife, mom, daughter, sister, auntie, grandma and friend, we smile in the joy that as she walked through Heavens gates, she was greeted by so many she was missing in this life. Her father Bill, Grandparents Gottlieb and Lydia, Grandparents Thomas and Beatrice , her Aunt Ester and Aunt Virginia, a few of her “extras”, as well as many other family members and friends. We rejoice in the knowledge that she is with those she loved, she has no more pain, and she is happy. In our earthly sadness, she is happy, and that’s the greatest joy we hold on to.
…And she has heard our Lord say to her, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
From our family to yours, thank you for being with us and celebrating with us. The more the merrier.
Romans 10: 9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Debbie’s Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 3:00 PM at Whatcom New Life Assembly, 2290 Main Street, Ferndale, WA 98248. Services will be held in the sanctuary followed by dinner in the gym afterward.