Debbie (Quella) Pickett, age 60 of Menasha, departed this world to return to our heavenly father on Thursday, July 17, 2014. She had endured a brief, yet courageous fight with cancer. Debbie was the oldest of six children born to Appleton natives Thomas and Eunice (Krueger) Quella on May 10, 1954. She was a devoted, lifelong member of Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Appleton, where she was actively involved in Sunday school and children's ministry. Debbie's abundant faith, love and generosity were the cornerstones of her life.
Debbie graduated from Appleton East High School in the class of 1972. She met her husband James Pickett while both were working at Sabre Lanes of Menasha. Jim and Debbie were married on April 2, 1977. The couple shared adventures across the country with friends as part of the Freedom Vans of Appleton club.
Jim and Debbie were blessed with their children Brad, Amanda, and Jesse, as well as Shane, Tammy and Wendy from Jim's previous marriage. Summers were a special time, when Shane, Tammy and Wendy were able to return from California to visit. The family enjoyed camping together all over the state as well as throughout the country with their many friends.
After Jim's death in 1991, Debbie enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, where she received her associate's degree in 1993. Debbie spent the next 17 years working with special needs birth to three year old children as a part of the Outagamie County Early Intervention program sponsored by Valley Packaging. In 2005, Debbie became part of the ThedaCare organization on a part-time basis working in area nursing homes. In 2010 she entered into a full-time position providing in-home therapy with ThedaCare at Home.
From high school throughout her adult life, Debbie was an active part of the Fox Valley gymnastics community. She started as a competitor, later became a coach at Gym Kids, a respected WIAA official and most recently enjoyed being an instructor at the Heart of the Valley YMCA.
Debbie's other passions included gardening, enjoying the company of her friends and family in Wild Rose, playing with her grandchildren and spending time on the beach.
Debbie is survived by children Brad (Melissa) Pickett, Amanda (Luke) Huston, daughter in-law Misty Pickett, Shane (Kerry) Pickett, Tammy Pickett and Wendy (Daniel) DaDalt. Grandchildren include James and Lily Pickett, Brenna and Isabella Pickett, Will and Meghan Pickett, and Olivia and Dominic DaDalt, brothers Jim, John and Jerry Quella, sisters Darlene (Dave) Quella and Diane (Randy) Krueger. She is further survived by a large extended family and far too many friends to count.
She will be welcomed into the care of our Lord by her husband James, son Jesse and parents Tom and Eunice (Krueger) Quella.
Funeral services for Debbie will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, July 26th, 2014 at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 740 East College Avenue, Appleton, Wisconsin. Visitation and viewing for family and friends will be held Friday, July 25th from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Saturday, July 26th from 8:00 AM until the start of the service.
Valley Funeral Home
2211 N. Richmond St. Appleton, WI 54911
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from July 20 to July 24, 2014