Our dear wife, mother, and grandmother Debra Lee Pehrson passed away surrounded by family on May 6, 2023, after a long and valiant battle with Alzheimer’s. Debbie was born to Edward and Mignon Malm on July 24, 1951, in Salt Lake City, Utah. She spent her early childhood years in the Salt Lake City area and then moved to Sedona, Arizona where she graduated from Flagstaff High School and then went on to attend BYU.
Not long after, she met her sweetheart Joseph Pehrson and they were sealed for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on November 16, 1972. Over the next decade, they welcomed five children into their family, Michelle, Joe, Christie, Lori, and Matt. From day one, Debbie was an incredibly nurturing and adoring mother. No child ever had a better mother than Debbie. It was common to hear her talk about how proud she was of her children and that being a wife and mother was the greatest joy in her life.
Debbie’s optimism had a way of lifting and encouraging others. Her children have fond memories of waking up to her funny little songs or hearing her catchy phrases of encouragement. She created a beautiful home environment filled with love, joy, faith, and delicious homemade meals. Mom always found a way to make birthdays and holidays feel extra special.
Debbie was always game for new adventures with her family and created many wonderful memories boating, snow skiing, and riding ATVs. She had a passion for travel and delighted in going on cruises with the family, touring Europe, traveling in Asia, or adventuring in Australia with her sweetheart Joe.
Debbie had great faith in her Savior Jesus Christ. She served diligently in many callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and always sought out ways to serve others through quiet acts of kindness. She loved attending institute, BYU Education Week, and anything that brought her closer to her Heavenly Father.
The only thing that Debbie loved as much as being a wife and mother, was being a grandmother. Her level of excitement for her grandchildren was undeniable! And while she only had a small window of time on this earth to be the grandmother she wanted to be, we know that she will be watching over her grandchildren from heaven and have time with them in the eternities.
Debbie’s greatest attribute was her ability to show forth Christlike love. If you spent time with Debbie, you knew what it was to be loved, and to love. Even in the final years of her life when her ability to communicate was gone, many in the care center referred to her as Sweet Debbie and enjoyed being in her presence because of the goodness and love she possessed.
Debbie loved being with her sweetheart Joe. Their love story is filled with kindness, compassion, faith, and unwavering devotion to each other, no matter how deep the trial. Watching Dad tenderly care for Mom over the past decade has left a legacy of love for their posterity. Ever by her side no matter how dark the night, theirs is a love that will endure for eternity.
We are forever grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and knowing that we will be with Mom again.
Debbie was preceded in death by her father Ed, mother Mignon & brother Gary. She is survived by her Husband Joseph Pehrson, children Michelle (Scott), Joe (Wendi), Christie (Micah), Lori (Scott), Matt (Cait), and her twenty grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday, May 12, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff Street, St. George, Utah. Visitation time with the family will be from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. Interment will be at Tonaquint Cemetery, 1777 S Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah.
Our family would like to express sincere appreciation to the amazing staff and sweet residents at Season’s Care Center for their loving care of Debbie over the past five years. They not only have been an important part of Mom’s final years but have become dear friends to our family.
Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff Street, St. George, Utah. 435-673-2454. Family and friends are invited to sign Debbie’s online guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com