Debra Sue Hamilton-Marten died at home in Raymond, Illinois on May 18, 2023, leaving all who loved her. Debbie never could get any clocks set to the right time, especially now as she knocked on heaven’s gate entirely too soon.
Debbie was the beating heart of her family, our guiding light, the swift kick in the pants to get us motivated, and the gentle hand that mended the broken pieces. She was there to cheer us on, to care for us when we fell, to worry about us even though we said we were fine and believed in us even through our doubts. Debbie faced all of life’s hardships and struggles with grace, grit, strength, wisdom, and wicked since of humor. She was a momma bear and no kid could have ever asked for a better one.
Debbie had the gift of seeing people as they truly are, and a capacity to love unconditionally and without limits. She loved to shop and could smell a good clearance or bargain from miles away. She was thoughtful and giving, mention you really wanted something, she’d bring you eleven. She loved to garden, there were always fresh flowers in her home. She kept nearly every card she was ever given, including daily love letters from Ray and collected a lot of stuff, so much in fact we don’t know what to do with it all. If someone was looking for goofy pants of all seasons, clocks that don’t work, teddy bears, or a stick with a tag that says, “this is a stick,” then she was your girl.
Debbie was quiet but funny, and above all a loyal and loving wife, and an incredible mother. Though as a grandmother, she was quite the rule breaker and rowdy type. She taught her grandkids they needed a cookie for each hand. She married her first love Thomas “Tom” Allen Hamilton, on February 26, 1979 just shy of 6 weeks of meeting him. In their 21 years together, they were blessed with four children, Amanda Ensley (Wayne) of Raymond, Thomas “Tommy” Hamilton (Joanne) of Springfield, Amy Brown (Todd) of Raymond, and Adam Hamilton of Raymond. Tom gained his wings on the 14th of December1999. Debbie found love once again in Raymond “Ray” Marten of Raymond and they were wed on April 14, 2006. With this union Debbie gained three bonus children blending our families together, Beth Interdonato (Gregg), Brad Marten (Krista), and Neil Marten (Rebecca).
Debbie was the daughter of Estella Irene Harper and Billy Ray Smith. In her school years she attended St Patrick’s Catholic School and graduated from Springfield Southeast High School class of 1976. She worked at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield for 23 years and co-owned Marten Insurance for 17. She loved Cardinals baseball, played softball from age 7 to 33, enjoyed a good movie from time to time, was a big fan of Yellowstone, Law and Order, and HGTV. She always had ideas for arranging her home andwas very talented at decorating for every season and holiday. Some of her favorite songs to work to came from Dan Folgelberg, Alan Jackson, and Whitney Houston. We knew as kids if mom played Phil Collins it was time to clean.
Debbie leaves behind a legacy of love for her family and a close circle of true friends. Her Grandmother Estella Boggs, Parents Billy Ray and Irene, first husband Tom, brother Robbie Smith and half-sister Tammy Mundy, have all gone ahead to heaven and have made a place to welcome Debbie home. She leaves behind Ray, her four children, three bonus children, two brothers Mike Smith (Dawna), Mark Smith (Sandy), three stepsisters, Juanita Smith, Jennifer “Jenny” Harper, and Georgann Johnson. Twelve grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
We know for certain that we’ll never loose Debbie, even to death. She will continue to participate in every act, thought, and choice we make. We’ll always feel her love in our hearts and through our memories and find comfort knowing our lives have been enriched by her love, light, wisdom, and laughter.
A visitation will be held at The Community of Faith’s Living Center, 418 North Springfield Road in Raymond, on Tuesday, May 23rd from 4:00 pm -7:00 pm. A catholic funeral service on Wednesday, May 24th at 10:00 am. Burial will follow in St. Raymond’s Catholic Cemetery.
Memorial Donations may be made to the Raymond Harvel Volunteer Fire Department or Raymond Harvel Volunteer Ambulance in honor of Debbie Marten.
The family wishes to send a special thank you to the angels at Hillsboro Area Hospital and HSHS hospice, especially to Debbie’s nurse Pino for all the care and compassion received.
Hough Funeral Home in Raymond is assisting the family with arrangements.