December 2, 1955 ~ January 12, 2014
Debbie Chapman passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 12, 2014, after a year and a half battle with cancer. Debbie was an inspiration to so many people. Through all of her countless treatments, she always kept a positive attitude and never complained. She was pure of heart and one of the sweetest people you would ever meet, but she was a fighter. She didn’t let cancer take her happiness away or prevent her from living her life. She called it her journey.
Debbie was born Debralee Jane Sobotta on December 2, 1955, to Joyce Lindsay and Gerald “Bud” Sobotta in Wenatchee, WA. The youngest of three, Debbie looked up to her older siblings, Kim Sobotta and Shelley Hamblen (Sobotta). Debbie attended St. Joseph’s School from grade school through ninth grade. Some of the friends that she made there became lifelong friends. She graduated from Wenatchee High School in 1974. When Debbie was still in high school, she met the love of her life, Randy. Randy was from Spokane, but had come to Wenatchee for a church retreat. It was there where they bonded over the fact that they both played the guitar. Since that weekend they were inseparable. They were married on May 21, 1977. Debbie’s bouquet was that of yellow roses, which would always be one of her favorite flowers. For the first two years of their marriage they lived in Spokane, where Debbie worked for an insurance company. When Randy got a job at The Wenatchee Police Department in 1979, they moved to Wenatchee and made their home. Debbie started work as a legal secretary, which she continued to do until 2013.
Debbie and Randy were married for 36 years. People would always remark at how in love they still were after all that time. Debbie loved to travel. One of their favorite things to do was to take trips to Disneyland. They would walk through the park hand in hand, enjoying each other’s company. Over the years, Debbie and Randy took numerous trips to Europe, they cruised the Caribbean and, in 2013, they took a road trip in the Florida Keys. Every summer you could find them camping with friends. She never came out of the camper without her hair and makeup perfectly in place. Debbie had an affinity for gift shops and knickknacks. She enjoyed trips to Leavenworth, spending hours browsing the stores. She would spend a lot of time with her mom, Joyce, and you could find them having lunch at Taco Time every Monday or running errands on Saturdays. At Christmas time, if you were lucky enough, Debbie would hand deliver her famous snickerdoodle and peanut blossom cookies to your door. Debbie was also a longtime member of St. Veronica’s Guild.
In 1999, Debbie went through her first bout of Breast Cancer. She kicked its butt and decided that she wanted to give back to women going through the horrible disease. She started participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the cure. Debbie would train for countless hours before walking in the 60 mile walk. Randy would often volunteer. It was Debbie’s spirit to make something positive out of something negative. She was able to raise so much money and awareness to help other people.
Debbie was blessed with two loving daughters. Rachel and Kristin always looked up to their Mom. Debbie was always glamorous in big shades and even bigger hair. There was never a shortage of hair spray at the Chapman house. Debbie and her girls loved going out of town for shopping trips, or just staying home to watch a movie. Debbie was always told how she was “the best Mom in the whole world.” Holidays and birthdays were never missed. Cards and presents were always given and her girls will treasure them forever.
The family would like to thank Debbie’s doctor, Mandy Robertson and the staff at the Wenatchee Valley Clinic, who helped to treat her and made her feel special. They would also like to thank the kind nurses, who took care of her at Central Washington Hospital during her last days.
Debbie was preceded in death by her father, Gerald Sobotta. She is survived by her husband, Randy, her daughters, Kristin and Rachel, and her mom, Joyce, all of Wenatchee; her brother, Kim Sobotta (Diane) of Jacksonville, FL; and her sister, Shelley (Kerney) Hamblen of Huntsville, TX. Debbie also leaves behind countless family and friends. She had a lot of people who loved her.
Funeral Services will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Saturday, January 18, 2014, at 9:00 a.m., with a reception to follow. Please join us in celebrating Debbie’s beautiful life. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Debbie’s honor to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Please express your thoughts and memories on the online guestbook at jonesjonesbetts.com. Arrangements are by Jones & Jones~Betts Funeral Home, Wenatchee.