Looking for a particular obituary?

Obits submitted to The Gazette are published online and in the newspaper the next day.

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

Debra Sue Bridewater


Debra Sue Bridgewater, 60, of Blairstown, Iowa, passed away July 11, 2018, in the comfort of her home.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at St. John's Catholic Church in Blairstown with Father Craig Steimel as celebrant. A private family burial will take place at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Blairstown, at a later date.
The family would like to invite their family and friends to celebrate Debra's life at the visitation on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Blairstown Community Center. Instead of coming with a heavy heart, please bring a written memory or picture to put on the family's memory board. Tears are allowed, but shared laughter and memory making is mandatory. Memorials may be directed to the family. Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.phillipsfuneralhomes.com.
Debra was born Nov. 27, 1957, to Jacob and Marcella (Brannaman) Clark in Cedar Rapids. At the age of 8, Debra started spending her summers with sister and brother-in-law, Marcia and Danny Kimm, in rural Blairstown. It was during these summers that she met the Bridgewater family. During her sophomore year of high school, Debra started dating Jeff Bridgewater. She graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1976.
Debra and Jeff were united in marriage on June 10, 1978, at St. John Catholic Church in Mount Vernon. Their reception was hosted by Jacob and Marcella Clark in rural Mount Vernon at Debra's childhood home, known as the Stone House.
Debra and Jeff started their married life farming and living on the Mary Tiedemann farm. In 1992, the family transitioned to the Siek-Bridgewater century homestead, where they still remain. Debra took great pride in preparing meals with her mother-in-law, Mary Bridgewater, for all the men working in the fields.
Debra and Jeff were blessed with four daughters, whom Debra stayed home to raise. She enjoyed creating memories with them by attending their various activities. Debra never missed one of her daughters' events, and they fulfilled her deep love for sports.
When Debra was not attending her daughters' activities, she enjoyed cross-stitching, quilting and making Christmas stockings. Her passion turned into a career when she started working at Hope's Bridal as a seamstress and later as a sales attendant at Heritage Design in Amana. She was grateful for the precious friendships she made in both shops.
Above all, Debra enjoyed making memories with her seven grandchildren. She hosted go-cart racing parties, was head of Jeff's hot air balloon chase crew and a loyal Benton Bobcat fan. The sound of a kid's giggle was her favorite sound.
Debra is survived by her husband, Jeff, of 40 years; daughters, Tracy (Jason) Urell of Atkins, Kim (Ryan) Fisher of Van Horne, Jenny (Nate) Klein of Atkins, and Becca of Blairstown; grandchildren, Karley and Landon Urell, Aidan, Brooks and Dierks Fisher and Lily and Ellary Klein; siblings, Myrt (Bill) Bowers, Richard Clark, Keith (Jo) Clark, Doug (Theresa) Clark, Marcia (Danny) Kimm, Steve (Mary) Clark, Donna (Gary) Ulch, Kenny (Jody) Clark, Donita VanHamme, Gary Clark, Merle (Sheryl) Clark and Denise (Warren) Havill; her in-laws, Eldon and Mary Bridgewater, Ronn Bridgewater, Barb (Bob) Yilek, Cathy (Jeff) Storjohann, Jo (Todd) Prusha, Jim (Jo) Bridgewater, Rod (Laura) Bridgewater, Brad (Jody) Bridgewater, Tom (Dena) Bridgewater and Carol (Mark) Warner; 44 nieces and nephews; and 61 great-nieces and -nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; an infant brother, Dennis; brother-in-law, John VanHamme; and infant sister-in-law, Bridget Bridgewater.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation to the following organizations for their kindness, care and services: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the UIHS Infusion Lab, Hope Lodge, Rita Taylor-Stewart and staff, Cornerstone Apothecary and Essence of Life.
Phillips Funeral Home-Blairstown is in charge of arrangements.