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Deborah Kaye Zuidema

Deborah Kaye Zuidema

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Deborah Kaye Zuidema

Deborah Kaye Zuidema

March 28, 1958 - Oct. 11, 2021

Deborah Kaye Zuidema passed away from Covid on Monday, October 11, 2021, with her family by her side. She was 63.

Debbie was born on March 28, 1958, in Helena, Montana to loving parents Elmer Cole and Shirley Price Cole. Debbie was the oldest of six children and took her role as big sister seriously, welcoming her siblings to the family with all the love and attention she could provide. Throughout her life, she maintained that loyalty to her family, remaining close with her siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Debbie was a hometown girl, attending Helena area schools, and taking accounting courses at Carroll College. During her career, she worked for the IRS as a collection agent, dedicated to helping individuals work through difficult tax situations. After leaving the IRS, Debbie joined Morrison-Maierle, using her smartly honed accounting and tax skills as an accounting technician.

Debbie was dedicated to her children, Michael and Karri Zuidema, and considered their individual achievements her proudest moments. She was looking forward to welcoming her first grandchild later this year.

Despite Debbie's joy for life, she suffered with chronic asthma and other medical conditions throughout her life. She credited her faith in Jesus and her family with helping her fight through illnesses. She loved to travel, accompanying her daughter to the Special Olympics World Games in North Carolina, and spending time with her family in Las Vegas and experienced one of her bucket list items by attending the Miss America pageant. She was known throughout the family for her love of pansies, family history, and small everyday items she treasured from her grandmother. No holiday or celebration was complete unless it included a marathon tournament of Liverpool Rummy.

Debbie loved all animals, from her spoiled little Yorkies, Nigel and Sadie to her pet cockatiel, Zoe whom she once performed mouth to beak resuscitation.

Debbie was preceded in death by Father Elmer Cole, who died in September, and her brother Bobby Cole who died at the age of 16. She is survived by her son, Michael Zuidema (Shanna), daughter Karri Zuidema, Mother Shirley Price Cole, Sisters; Kathy Scanlan (Dave), Connie Cole-McLaughlin, Wendy Voeller (Michael), Brother Raymond Cole, Brother-in-Law, John McLaughlin.

Debbie adored her nieces and nephews: Jenna Kane (Brian), Conor Scanlan (Cecilia), Kaitlyn Scanlan, Lexi Bass (Eric), Whitney McLaughlin, Ashton McLaughlin, Madison McLaughlin, Kelsey Voeller, Karissa Voeller, Dylan Voeller, Rob Cole (Heather) and Sam Cole. Great Aunt to Aria and Augie Kane, Vivian and Hazel Bass, Landyn and Oaklyn Cole.

Debbie dearly loved her Aunts, Ginny Kalchbrenner and Penny Price along with many cousins, co-workers, and friends.

Debbie's legacy will live on with her friends and family, especially for those who followed her example in using the names “Papa” and “Auntie Bay” for a beloved grandmother and great aunt.

Debbie and her family thank the Doctors and Nurses at St Peter's Hospital for their compassionate care over the years. Especially the exemplary treatment she received from the intensive care unit these past two weeks.

Viewing will be held on Friday, October 15th at Andersen-Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., A celebration of Debbie's life will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 16th at the funeral home. A reception will follow the service in the social hall of the funeral home. Debbie's favorite color was purple, so please feel free to wear purple for the celebration. Memorial donations to honor Debbie may be sent to the Special Olympics Tri-County Montana, an organization near and dear to Debbie's heart would be greatly appreciated. Please visit to offer a condolence to the family, to share a memory of Debbie and to live stream the memorial service.

“Love you sweets” quote from Debbie Zuidema

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