Deborah K. Reich (53) of Newton


Published on May 18 2012 11:33 am


Deborah Kathleen Reich, age 53, of Newton, IL passed away at 3:25 PM – Thursday, May 17, 2012 at her home surrounded by her family.

Debbie’s 21-month battle with cancer was heroic and inspirational to all who knew her.  Debbie’s love of life, commitment to family, and her incredibly artistic gift will be missed by many.

Debbie was born at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney, IL on April 19, 1959 the daughter of Victor Andrew and Delores Ann (Kirschner) Ritz.  She graduated from Newton High School in 1977.  She married Brian Reich at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Ste. Marie, IL on November 4th 1978.

Debbie is survived by her loving husband Brian, daughters, Coryn Reich of Newport Beach, CA and Heather Edwards of Asheville, NC along with her husband, Travis, and sons Parker and Logan.  Debbie is also survived by her parents, Vic and Dolores Ritz of Newton, IL; brother Lee Ritz and wife Brenda and 2 sons of Denver, CO; brother Joe Ritz and wife Deanna and 3 sons and 1 daughter of Austin, TX; brother Kevin Ritz and wife Monica and 1 son and 1 daughter of Vincennes, IN; sister Lynn Lederhos and husband Gil and 1 son and 1 daughter of Calgary, Canada; brother Mark Ritz and fiancé Raquel and 1 daughter and 1 son of Champaign, IL; brother Mike Ritz and wife Heidi and 1 son and 1 daughter of NC; sister Vickie Keller and husband Steve and 1 daughter and 2 sons of Newton, IL;  sister Elizabeth and husband Terry and 1 daughter and 2 sons of Buenos Aires, Argentina; sister Teresa Eaton and husband John and 2 sons and 1 daughter of Carbondale, CO;  and sister Mary Ritz and 1 son and 1 daughter of Phoenix, AZ.

Debbie was a teacher’s aide for 20 years at Ste. Marie Elementary and Central Elementary Schools in the Jasper County School District.  Her work included teaching autistic children.   Her life-long passion for art led her to open her own art studio, “Bumble Bee Inks”, in 2002.  She specialized in portraits, acrylic paintings, and glass etchings.  Her works included pieces that marked significant events in people’s lives.  Her work was personal and inspiring, capturing the beauty and emotion of simple things in life.

Debbie’s greatest creations were her daughters with whom she shared music, art, and laughter.  Debbie enjoyed being Oma to her two young grandchildren whose presence buoyed her through the tough times of her illness.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 AM – Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Newton, IL with Fr. Robert Spriggs celebrating mass.  Visitation will be held 5:00-8:00 PM – Monday, May 21, 2012 at the church and 1 hour before the mass.  In loving memory of Debbie, memorials may be maded to the American Lung Association.  Arrangements are under the care of the Blake-Buchanan Funeral Home in Newton, IL.  The obituary can be viewed and condolences left at