Deborah's Story

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Deborah Zellner Johnson died Friday, April 7, 2017, in Oklahoma City of complications following a months long battle with cancer. She was 64.
Debbie was born Jan. 5, 1953, in Rantoul, Ill., near Chanute Air Force Base. She was raised in Pauls Valley and graduated from Pauls Valley High School in 1971. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from East Central University in 1975 and was a member of Chi Omega sorority.
She married Glen D. Johnson on June 2, 1979, in Norman. She was a devoted wife and proud mother of two children.
Debbie was an active member of the Norman and University of Oklahoma communities. She valued volunteerism and demonstrated this through her involvement in organizations including the Junior League of Norman, Assistance League, Catholic Charities and Norman Public Schools PTA. Debbie was a founding member of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church.
She loved to sew and quilt and create handmade gifts for family and friends. Debbie, an enthusiastic sports fan, was an OU season ticket holder for more than two decades and an inaugural season ticket holder for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
She spent 20 years as the chief reader for Oklahoma Scoring Service, which scores standardized tests such as the GED. Previously, she taught language arts for more than a decade in Pauls Valley and Moore public schools.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Glen David Johnson of Norman, and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Murry R. Zellner of Pauls Valley. She is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Johnson Hicks and husband Anthony of Brooklyn, N.Y.; son, Greg Johnson and wife Amber of San Jose, Calif.; brother Gary Zellner and wife Dawn of Edmond; sister Diana Dean of Oklahoma City; two nieces and two nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mark the Evangelist in Norman at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Donations in memory of Debbie may be made to the American Cancer Society, Catholic Charities or the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
Published on April 10, 2017
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