Debra Bartels
Debra Bartels
Debra Bartels
Debra Bartels
Debra Bartels
Debra Bartels

Obituary of Debra Lou Bartels


MAY 17, 1955  -  FEBRUARY 06, 2022

Debra was born in Shellbrook, Saskatchewan  on May 17, 1955, to her parents Henry and Fern Bartels.  Debra was the third out of five children raised by her parents.  

She is survived by her son Jason Wayne Madsen of Saskatoon.   She is also survived by her life partner David Arnold Dyck.  She has an older brother Beverley Keith Bartels of Spruce Grove,  older sister Sandra Lynn Wingert of Medicine Hat, Alberta and two younger sisters Cheryl Ann Zacharias of Cranbrook,  B.C. and Arlene Wynn Jahn of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.   She has a nephew and four nieces, along with two grand nephews and five grand nieces.  She was predeceased by her parents and her two brothers Glenn and Henry Troy.

Debra was raised and attended school in Leask, Saskatchewan.   Debra continued her education in 1974, she took upgrading and completed her Grade 12 and then went on to take a Business Administration course at Natonum Community College  in Prince Albert,  Saskatchewan.   She graduated with top marks in 1977.

After completing her education,  Debra worked for the City of Prince Albert as a Clerk Steno and Property Sales Clerk from 1977 to 1985.  She then worked in a doctor's office in Prince Albert until her decision to move to Saskatoon in1987.  She first worked for a temporary service organization where she found full time work with an agricultural biotechnology firm where she worked for the next six years.

In 1993, Debra took a job as the Administrative Assistant at the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre,  where she really became a part of the Aboriginal community. Besides doing her regular duties at the Centre, Debra donated a lot of her time volunteering for many events held at the Friendship Centre.  She also donated her time for the Amateur Boxing Association and the National Aboriginal Veterans Association by taking minutes at meetings, helping to do up programs for events, working with youth and setting up itineraries and arranging travel plans for the Veterans and youth.  Debra also volunteered her time for functions held by the Korean Veterans Association.

Debra was employed with the City of Saskatoon as an Administrative Assistant/ Records Technician for the Infrastructure Services Department,  Public Works Branch.  She continued to stay active by doing volunteer work for the National Aboriginal Veterans Association, the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre and the Western Canadian Native Hockey  Championships.

Debra was employed with the Indian and Metis Housing Association from 2007 until 2014 at which time she retired.

Debra was the recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Metal presented  to her by Premier Lorne Calvert and the Government of Saskatchewan on July 15, 2005.  Debra was nominated for  this honour by Claude Petit, President  National Aboriginal Veterans Association recognizing her significant  contributions to the Aboriginal and Metis Community, Veterans and Aboriginal Youth and honours outstanding achievement for the Province of Saskatchewan and it's people.

Upon her retirement Debra spent her time visiting and having fun with family and friends.  Debra's time at home was spent at her favorite pastime cooking and baking, which she loved to do.  She was a great cook and baked the most amazing desserts  that family and friends enjoyed.  She was constantly experimenting with recipes and trying new dishes and changing them as she would see fit to her expertise, often improving on them as she went.  She had a love for music especially country music and was constantly  singing songs.  She had a great memory for songs and who the artists where.  She would often say she had fond memories of her Grade school music teacher Mrs. Stocker.  People will remember Debra's sense of humour.  She had such a great memory for remembering stories and would often reminisce about the past.  Laughter was a great part of her life.  Throughout her life, all the ups and down, she did enjoy her life, especially her friends and family.

Debra would like to thank her father Henry for teaching her the value of money management and paying her debts and the value of working hard for your life and being there for friends and family.  She would thank her mother Fern for teaching her about love, caring and how to keep a family together with almost nothing.  She would thank her Grandmother Lalonde for all the fun road trips they took together, the many jokes and laughter they shared.  There was a joke about Rite M. at the airport being caught with 50 pounds of crack that grandma had told her that she would laugh about all the time.  She would also thank her many friends that she met throughout her life that she loved dearly and held them close to her heart, you know who you are.

Debra supported her mother who had moved to Saskatoon in 2015 following a diagnosis of cancer and provided care to her until her passing in 2018.  Debra was diagnosed with esophageal cancer the fall of 2018 managing at home with support from her partner in life David Dyck of 26 years.  Debra was a very strong woman and a fighter although at times slowing down, she always got herself back up with her baking something.  She moved to Hospice at Glengarda, Saskatoon where she received excellent care by the staff there.  She passed peacefully in the presence of her partner David by her side on February 6, 2022.  Debra's family would like to extend their heartfelt  appreciation to Palliative Home Care and the Hospice  Glengarda Staff, as well as Dr. A. Davis her G.P. for all their support and care.  

Debra supported the Canadian Wildlife Federation, Heart and Stroke, Canadian Liver Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society.   Debra also supported and donated to several other organizations.   She also supported a sober life style, which she herself was very proud of for the past 8 years.  Debra had a saying she used, "You cannot change the wind , but you can change your sails!"  She would thank David, Barry Ennis and John Cross for all their support.  She would also thank Dr. Samson  Haimanot for all his support and care.  She was a firm believer in donating blood and did this faithfully for very many years.  She was also a firm believer in organ donation, unfortunately only able to donate her corneas.

Should you like to make a donation please make donations to any of the organizations that Debra supported or the Hospice at Glengarda and please sign your organ donor card.

Debra was loved by all and will be dearly missed.

'Message from Debra'


If tomorrow starts without me and I'm not there to see, If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me; I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today, while thinking of the many things, we didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me, as much as I love you! And each time that you think of me, I know you'll miss me too.

But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand that an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand; she said my place was ready, in heaven far above and that I'd have to leave behind all those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away, a tear fell from my eye for all my life, I'd always thought I didn't want to die; I had so much to live for, so much left yet to do, it seemed almost impossible that I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad; I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday, just even for a while; I'd say good-bye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized that this could never be, for emptiness and memories would take the place of me; when I thought of worldly things I might miss come tomorrow, I thought of you and when I did my heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through Heaven's Gates, I felt so much at home. When God looked down and smiled at me, from his great golden throne, He said, "This is Eternity and all I've promised you."

Today your life on earth is past but here life starts anew. I promise no tomorrow but today will always last; and since each day's the same way there's no longing for the past.

You have been so faithful, so trusting and so true; though there were times you did some things, you knew you shouldn't do. But you have been forgiven and now at last you're free; so wont you come and take my hand and share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me, don't think we're far apart, for every time you think of me, I'm right here in your heart ...

Send this to all those you care about ... because you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. Show them how you care, before it's too late.

"Happiness is a Choice."

May God watch over you and your family now and always. There is no right time to do the wrong thing ... there is no wrong time to do the right thing.

Each of you has touched my life in a very special way. I thank God for each one of you and count it a privilege to call you a "Friend!"

God Be With You!

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