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Debbie (Halling) Lehman


November 14, 2019

-Submitted photo

Debbie Halling Lehman

Debbie (Halling) Lehman passed away after a very short battle with pancreatic cancer on November 2, 2019.

She was born Debra Lee Halling to Jack and Margaret Butler Halling in Pocatello, Idaho on June 26, 1951; the eldest child of five. In 1968 the family moved to Dayton, Wash. where Debbie graduated with the class of 1969. Even though she only lived in Dayton for one year she made many lifelong friends in her graduating class. In fact, she had just enjoyed reuniting with them at her 50th class reunion this summer.

While attending WSU she met the love of her life Tom Lehman. They married in 1972 and moved to Louisville, Kentucky where Tom attended dental school. Their first child Chris was born there in 1974.

After a brief time in North Dakota, they moved to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. where their daughter Amanda was born in 1980. Then, surprise! In 1993, their final child Betsy was born. She wasn't amused when her 19-year-old son suggested that she should try for a fourth child in 2000 to complete four decades of childbirth.

After volunteering for years in her children's school library, she became the children's librarian in the Bayless Public library, a career that continued for 29 years; a job she loved marrying her passion for literature and small children. She answered to "Mrs. Yehman" and is in the memories of lovely times with books and Storytime for decades of Sault children.

Her daughter, Amanda wrote a lovely piece suggesting that if you want to make a tribute to her "first and foremost-be kind, accepting, and always say please and thank you." The following is a portion of the rest of Amanda's suggestions:

Marry your best friend; Read a book to a child; Take time to color; Read Harry Potter. Also, Sue Harrison's books. Also, "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon. And Jodi Picoult. Basically, read any book.

Always write Thank You notes; Take a long, hot bath; Buy books as Christmas presents; Write letters to; far-away friends and relatives. Real letters in impossibly beautiful cursive.

Plant flowers, especially petunias, tulips, iris, and hydrangea Plant veggies, especially tomatoes and green beans. Also, peas! Nothing better than raw peas fresh from the garden.

Adopt a shelter cat...or two. Bonus points for orange cats. Drink a Busch Light in her honor, and no making fun of her choice in beer!

Kick everyone's butt at Jeopardy, crossword puzzles, and Trivial Pursuit; Buy Merrell shoes. Trust her, you won't regret it; Soft fuzzy socks and pajama pants; Cable knit "anything;" Watch Will Smith and John Wayne movies; Snarky humor is required.

Debbie is predeceased by her mother and father.

She is survived by her loving husband Tom of 47 year; her son Chris (Anne); daughter Amanda (Paul); and daughter Betsy (Kedzie); grandchildren Julie and Emma Lehman and Sid and Dex Martin. She is also survived by her sisters Jody Sanchez, Barbara (Gary) Doherty, and Margie Roueche (Glynn Stevens), and her brother John (Sue).

While there will be a service in Michigan, a service in the spring is planned in Walla Walla.


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