Deborah Burnell


Deborah Joy Burnell of Chandler, Indiana joined her soul mate in the Lord’s Kingdom Monday night, March 29, 2021. Debbie was 70 years young.

Deborah was the first born to John and Noella Summers in Ottawa, Canada on December 7, 1950.

Debbie grew up in Massena, New York, the eldest of five children. She attended Massena Central High School, where she met her soul mate her senior year, Donald Burnell.

In 1972, Deborah and Donald wed, swearing their love to one another’s heart and soul. Donnie and Debbie’s love for each other was eternally blooming. They made a family by bringing two daughters, Tamela and Tara, into this world. To Debbie, Donnie was her great love, and her daughters were her world. She was truly blessed, as she had everything she dreamt her life would be when she was young.

She was a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a grandmother, and a friend. She loved and gave with a whole heart to all that were blessed to know her.

Debbie loved playing games with her family, reading, camping, Gone with the Wind, reality television, and collected fine crystal, and snowmen.

She was a member of Chandler United Methodist Church, where she was a council board member and assisted with outreach and church events and functions. She especially loved the Easter event. She assisted her youngest daughter with working at the church food pantry. Her dedication to reaching out to touch lives and help others was admirable. She was dedicated, devoted, and loved her family, friends, and Our Lord and Savior with her whole heart.

Debbie was preceded in her calling to the Lord by so many she loved and loved her. Her daughters and their spouses, Tamela and James Kessinger, and Tara and Michael Kopp were her immediate family. She preceded her two sisters and brother, and their spouses, Pamela and David Tefft, Shayne and Kay Summers, Melody and Bob Handegard, Cheryl Summers and Monica Summers. With the same importance her siblings in-law Patricia and John Minor, Jean and Michael Hudon, and Jane and Geoff Smythe. She was the proud “Grams” to her granddaughters, Madison-Rae Kessinger and Mackenzie Kopp along with her grandson, Ricky Pitsonbarger. She was also “Aunt Deb” to a countless number of loved ones, but also to her nieces and nephews, Imran Awan, Michael and Mark Summers, Lucas, Amanda, Marilee, and Danny Summers, Monica, Melissa, and Michael Hudon and Emile Summers. In addition to the family listed, she touched so many; her great nieces and nephews, her grandchildren’s significant others, and the many other kids and grown-ups she was “Aunt Deb” to, and to her church family and friends she adored. Debbie imprinted her love and kindness unto all the lives she touched as she preceded them in death.

Tamela and Tara invite you to celebrate in the life of their mother, Deborah Burnell. Deborah will be shown at Koehler Funeral Home, Perigo Chapel, 7022 Heim Road in Chandler, Indiana, on Friday, April 2, 2021. There will be a private viewing for family at 3:00 pm and viewing for everyone will start at 4:00 pm and proceed until 8:00 pm. There will be a funeral service on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Chandler United Methodist Church. There will be a brief showing for friends and family starting at 9:00 am and service will follow at 10:00 am. Immediately following the service there will be a bereavement luncheon hosted by the United Methodist Women in the church’s fellowship hall, and all are invited.

In closing, as we allow ourselves to ponder our fond memories, seemingly brief moments and process our grief, may we all take with us the love and kindness she bestowed upon us. She loved us all with the deepest sincerity.

Now, go Deborah, take your place in Heaven with our Lord and Savior. Be reunited with your best friend and soul mate, Donald Burnell. Sit once again with the four people you admired and respect the most, your parents: John and Noella Summers, and Donald and Bernice Burnell. Laugh and be joyous with all your friends and family that preceded you to the Sacred Kingdom. Until our day to be reunited with you once again we take with us your love. And know you are loved as wholly as you love us. We will not say goodbye, but until we meet again.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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