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Debra S. Ford

Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 5:09 p.m. CDT

In the early morning hours of Thursday, June 12, 2014 the world lost the wonderful soul of Debra Susan (Dillow) Ford, 56, who succumbed gracefully to a battle with breast cancer.

Born at Sterling Community General on July 27, 1957 to Burton Dillow and Elizabeth June (McCabe) Dillow, Debra went on to attain lofty heights as an a student as she graduated from Rock Falls Township High School in 1975.

Aspiring from an early age to become a nurse, she achieved that goal in her early 20s with an LPN degree, later graduating from Sauk Valley College in 1989 and eventually earned high honors as an registered nurse, a career at which she excelled for more than two decades, working many years alongside Dr. Gregory Reckamp at the KSB Clinic in Oregon.

Debra was married in August of 1980 to a successful general contractor Michael Ford, Franklin Grove, who preceded her in death in December of 2010.

Their marriage produced three children, one daughter, BriAnn, having passed away during infancy.

Debra is survived by two children, Lane Ford and Caitlyn Ford Springer; and one granddaughter, Nellie, currently aged seven months, a pure joy to Deb until the end.

Debra will be remembered for her kindhearted nature and as a person who shunned the glow of her own achievements.

She was boundlessly hardworking, a tireless caretaker with an incomparable capacity to share equally the despair and joys of others.

She stood by everyone in her life through any emotional or physical crisis, absorbing the depth of every passage.

Over the years Debra cultivated a large extended family of patients she grew to love, and welcomed in the family members of her late husband as her own.

Away from her career as a nurse, she was a great lover of animals and was an amazingly accomplished gardener, two traits she apparently inherited from her father, the late Burton Dillow who passed away at the age of 86 in July 2011.

But her overriding passion was books. A voracious reader, she was rarely without a book in her quiet evenings at home.

Although there will be no more telephone calls to her, the conversations her friends have had with her over the years will undoubtedly live on forever.

There are certain people whose names set up a clamor in one’s heart; Debra Susan (Dillow) Ford was undeniably one of those.

She is survived by her mother, Elizabeth Dillow, 84, Rock Falls; brothers, Dennis Dillow, 66, Templeton, Calif. and Lonnie Dillow, 62, Sterling; daughter, Caitlyn; son, Lane; and long time friend and companion, Tim Winge.

Special thanks andacknowledgement to her late husband’s family; Barbara Ford, Debra Adkins (Ford), Ron (Dawn) Ford, and Gerry (Kathleen) Ford for providing unwavering support and companionship.

Debra wished a memorial to be established in her name with any condolences and funds going to her children. Send memorials to 1122 C Jenny Drive, Sycamore IL 60178.

A memorial to celebrate her life is tentatively scheduled to be held on July 11, 2014, at Centennial Park, Rock Falls.

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