Deborah Jean (Strange) Vecchio passed away at home on Monday January 24 after her courageous year and a half battle with ovarian cancer, at the age of 59.
Born in Topeka, Kansas Debbie grew up in Marysville, Kansas. After high school she attended Cottey College, a two year women’s college in Missouri. After her graduation in 1971 she continued her education at Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts in Chickasha, Oklahoma where she would meet her future husband John. Following her graduation with a BA in speech therapy she earned her masters degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Tulsa in 1975.
Debbie spent two years working in Western Kansas then moving to Muskogee, Oklahoma where she worked as a speech-language pathologist for the Oklahoma School for the Blind until her retirement in 2004.
Debbie and John were married in 1977 and had one daughter, Kat, in 1982.
After family Debbie’s great love was P.E.O., a women’s philanthropic educational organization. P.E.O’s mission is to promote educational opportunities for women through six philanthropies, including the ownership of Cottey College. Debbie became a member in 1971, and was a current member of Chapter AO in Muskogee. She served as the Oklahoma
State Cottey Chairman for eight years before being elected to the Oklahoma State Board. She was serving as the Oklahoma State Board President this year.
Debbie was also an avid quilter, and had many great friends in the area guilds. She was a member of the Muskogee Area Quilters Guild, The Eufaula Piece Makers Quilters Guild, Green Country Guild in Tulsa, OQSO and on the Quilters Powwow Committee.
She was preceded in death by her mother Reva Strange of Grove, Oklahoma. She is survived by her husband John Vecchio, of the home, and their daughter Katherine Vecchio of Brooklyn, New York, her father
Bill Strange of Grove, Oklahoma, her brother Stan Strange of Colby, Kansas, her sister Sheri Beck of Spiro, Oklahoma and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers gifts in her memory can be made to: Cottey College, P.E.O. International Headquarters, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312-2806 or Oklahoma P.E.O. Projects Fund, Cottey Scholarship Fund Oklahoma State Chapter, Executive Assistant, P.O. Box 153, Leonard, OK 74043-0153.
A memorial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, January 28, 2011 at St. Paul United Methodist Church with Larry Bailey BIL and Reverend Mark Jardine officiating.
The family has entrusted Bradley Family Funeral Service of Muskogee with the arrangements.