Debra C. Burns

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Debra Cort Burns

Of Indianapolis died peacefully at home on June 10, 2013 following a long and courageous battle against cancer. She fought that battle the same way she lived her life -- with strength, perpetual optimism, grace, and determination.

Debi was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 18, 1952 to the late Robert F. and Betty J. (Johns) Cort. She was a graduate of Rochester Adams High School in Rochester, Michigan, and Michigan State University.

After Michigan State, Debi embarked on a long and successful career in business. Her first job was as a sales executive at Dow Chemical in Michigan, where she was the first woman to hold that position. She transitioned to human resources where she is remembered as being a hero for fellow women because she demanded equality and respect in the workplace.

After more than twenty years at Dow, Debi moved to Mercer where she was a partner and senior client manager responsible for business development. Throughout her career, Debi was an excellent mentor and admired as intelligent, thoughtful, patient, and an intent listener, who excelled at everything she attempted.

While she enjoyed a distinguished career, Debi's greatest joy was her family. She is survived by her husband of 31 years, John (Jerry) Edward Burns III and daughter Jennifer Cort Burns. Together they skied, walked, travelled, played golf, and shared the adventure of a well-lived life. Her brother, Jeffrey Marshall Cort, and stepmother, June Elizabeth Cort-Hare, also survive.

A celebration of Debi's life will be held at Woodstock Club on Saturday, June 22nd from Noon to 3:00 p.m. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Eagle Creek Park Foundation or the Women's Fund of Central Indiana. Arrangements are entrusted to Flanner and Buchanan - Zionsville , and online condolences may be left at:

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on June 16, 2013
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