Cover photo for Debra Pensinger's Obituary
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1959 Debra 2023

Debra Pensinger

August 24, 1959 — October 2, 2023

Wausau

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, a compassionate social worker and a devoted teacher, Debra Ann Pensinger, 64, who passed away peacefully due to the progression of dementia on October 2, 2023. She leaves behind a legacy of love, care, and unwavering dedication to her family, community, and the countless lives she touched throughout her remarkable journey.

 

Born on August 24, 1959. to Joyce and Donald Peterson, Deb was a shining beacon of kindness and compassion. Her radiant smile and warm heart had an incredible impact on the lives she encountered. She met her husband, Roger, at UW-Whitewater in 1978 and they married in 1980. After graduating from UW-Whitewater, Deb started her career as a social worker at Bethesda Lutheran Home in Watertown, WI. Her selfless nature and genuine empathy made her a pillar of support for countless individuals and families facing difficult circumstances. After a few years and having her first child, Jennifer, her family relocated to Wausau, WI where she became a stay-at-home Mom. After a short time, she began working part-time at Eastbay in numerous roles. She later decided to pursue her passion of teaching and became a teacher’s aide at Lincoln Elementary. With the love and support of her family and colleagues, she decided to go back to school at UW - Stevens Point to get her teaching degree. She spent the next 17 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades at Lincoln and Franklin elementary schools within the Wausau School District. She believed education was a transformative tool that could empower students to overcome adversity and reach their fullest potential. Her classrooms were filled with warmth, encouragement, a deep commitment to fostering a love for learning, and the occasional popcorn fight. In addition to teaching, Deb was extremely passionate about numerous causes including the Wausau Area Jaycees, Special Olympics, Blessings in a Backpack, DCE Rollin’ Readers, Chase the Chill, Craft Hope, crocheting hats for preemies at local hospitals, and ushering at the Grand Theater.  

 

As dementia gradually took its toll on Deb, her unwavering spirit continued to shine through, inspiring all who knew her. Even in the face of adversity, she remained a source of strength, teaching us the invaluable lessons of resilience, patience, and unconditional love.

 

Deb will be deeply missed by her children, Jennifer (Timothy) Cucchiarelli, Brian (Sara) Pensinger, and Katherine (Juan) Soriano, who carry her legacy in their hearts. She is also survived by her loving husband of 43 years, Roger, who was steadfast as her caretaker throughout her illness. In addition to her children and husband, Deb leaves behind a legacy of love that extends to her adoring grandchildren, Lennon, Penelope, Posie, Avila, Anthony, Ayla, and Mila, who held a special place in her heart. She is preceded in death by her parents, Joyce and Donald, and her grandson, Finley.

 

Her memory will forever be cherished by her extended family, friends, former colleagues, students, and all those whose lives were touched by her genuine kindness and love.

 

In memory of Deb, let us remember the invaluable lessons she taught us: to always love one another, to approach life with empathy and compassion, and to cherish every moment we have with each other.

 

Lastly, the family would like to thank the staff at Wellington Place and Colonial Manor. 

 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made directly to a cause Deb was passionate about, Blessings in a Backpack, https://www.bibdcewausau.org/donate, which ensures children in our local community have hunger-free weekends. 

 

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, October 6th, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church with Pastor Natalie officiating.  A visitation will take place at 11:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church, with a fellowship lunch to follow. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Debra Pensinger, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, October 6, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

930 Edgewood Rd, Wausau, WI 54403

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Funeral Service

Friday, October 6, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

930 Edgewood Rd, Wausau, WI 54403

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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