Debra Digby-Cornell

Debra Digby-Cornell

Debra ‘Deb’ Ann Digby-Cornell of Otsego, MI passed away Sunday, April 22, 2012 at her home. Deb was born February 9, 1957 in Plainwell, the daughter of Kenelm and Martha Digby. She was a volunteer with the Cub Scouts, Breast Cancer Reach to Recovery and Relay for Life. Deb enjoyed horses in her younger years, running and walking, gardening, collecting angel statues and traveling. Her most recent trips were to Las Vegas and Yellowstone. She was kindhearted, a wonderful wife, mother and homemaker, she was always there for anyone. Debra was married to Robert Cornell in Alamo on May 31, 1986.

Surviving are her husband, Robert; sons, Ryan and Eric Cornell of Alamo; parents, Martha Thompson and Kenelm (Dorothy) Digby; siblings, Mark Digby, Terri (Richard) Brumm and Michelle Digby all of Alamo; several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. She was preceded in death by her sister Penny Digby.

Friends may meet with her family from 2-4 and 6-8 pm Tuesday at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego where services will be held Wednesday at 3:00 P.M., with Pastor Kathy Brown officiating. Cremation will follow with a private burial of ashes at Alamao Center Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery.

Messages of condolence may be left for her family at

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Dotti Price says:

    OMG!!! Bob, I am so very sorry for your loss!!! Debby was a wonderful person and friend. I will always remember the day Joe and I got married and all the jokes she was telling while we were getting ready! She made that walk so much easier!!!! My prayers are with you and the boys, just know that she is at peace now, and no longer in pain. I love you guys!! Juanita sends her condolences too.

  2. Dean Madonia says:

    Sorry to hear about Deb Bob, Ryan and Eric. I will see you all Tuesday.

  3. Lori Hostetler says:

    Bob, Ryan, and Eric. My heart goes out to you. Deb was an amazing person: kind, caring, putting all others before herself. She worked hard, and didn’t complain. She fought hard against cancer, I thought if anyone could beat it, she could. She had a great sense of humor and a beautiful smile. She had great faith and put that faith into action with good works. I have never known anyone quite like her. I am thankful her suffering is over, yet she will be missed by so many.

  4. Barry L Collick says:

    Bob, we are so sorry for your loss. We will be praying for your Family.

  5. Dee Collick says:

    Bob, You and your family are in my thoughts. I am so sorry for your loss

  6. Deborah Guina (Thompson) says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I first met Debbie in my kindergarten class. She was a very nice person. We went through 13 years of school together. It is always so sad to lose one of our classmates. My prayers are with you all of you during this sad time.

  7. Tony Lorrie Knight says:

    Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy Bob, Debbie was a warm, kind and gentle woman, Gather your family around you and celebrate the life she shared and gave to you,

  8. Patricia Wilcox says:

    To all of your family, I am sending my sincere and deepest sympathy in the loss of Deb. I have not seen her in lots of years, but do remember her from Otsego when I taught there. I pray that you will find peace, comfort, and understanding in the days ahead. May your hearts be filled with many beautiful memories. Thoughts and prayers go out to all of you in this difficult time.
    Pat Wilcox

  9. Tammy Townsend Ginebaugh(Digby) says:

    My heart is breaking over the loss of my wonderful cousin Debbie.You are no longer hurting and are in the arms of god.Love and payers to her husband and chilren.

  10. Marcia Bommerscheim says:

    Bob, Ryan, and Eric, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Deb was the hands and feet of the Lord here on earth. She volunteered for all the cancer fundraising events, helped others diagnosed with the disease, all the while courageously fighting her own battle. I never heard her whine or complain, she was a strong woman! Deb lived her life in service of others and this world has been changed for the good by her life lived among us and she will be GREATLY MISSED. I will forever cherish those many cold, rainy Friday nights in the bleachers cheering for our boys on the football field.

    I will rise when He calls my name
    No more sorrow, no more pain
    I will rise on eagles’ wings
    Before my God fall on my knees
    And rise
    I will rise

    The Bommerscheim Family
    Mark, Marcia, Tyler and Seth

  11. Char Forbes says:

    Bob, Ryan and Eric, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. She will be missed by the many lives she touched. May you find comfort in celebrating the family you created and shared. In His Love, Char Forbes & family

  12. Julia Bentley (Newton) says:

    Words alone cannot convey my sympathy for Deb’s passing.. I’m so fortunate to have reconnected with Deb and always looked forward to getting together with her and Melody when i got back into town. It was the high point of my trip. I thought if anyone could beat Cancer with a positive attitude that Deb would do it. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sending hugs, love and prayers to you Bob, Eric and Ryan.

    Julie Bentley (Newton)

  13. Jennifer Overacker says:

    Out of the short time that I knew Deb from working with her, I knew she was a special person, an angel in disguise! Deb will be truely missed by all her friends and Bronson family! My sincere condolences to all of her family! Prayers are being sent to help you through this trying time!

  14. Rosemary Ndenga says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Deb’s passing. I first met Deb when I started working in IT at Bronson and then had the opportunity to meet her Mum and fellowship with her in the same church. Sister Martha and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. May God Rest Deb’s soul in Peace.

  15. Karen Hadden says:

    Dear Bob, Ryan, Eric and Families,

    We are deeply saddened by the loss of Debbie. She was one of my dearest friends. She was kind to all and loved life. We went thru so many things over our 26 years of friendship. We had sad times but many more fun times. I can still hear her laugh. That laugh always made everything better. Please know she loved you dearly and was so very proud of all of you. She fought hard not for herself but to spend as many years as she could with her beloved family. It is my honor to call her a friend and she will always live in my heart. The world has lost a kind and gentle person. Please know we are sharing your pain and sorrow during these difficult days. Everyone’s prayers and your wonderful memories will help you heal. God now has the most beautiful rose for his garden. We may not be able to see her, but she will always be with us.

    With love,
    Dayle and Karen Hadden

  16. Ronnie Marks says:

    Such sad sad news. My deepest sympathies to Bob and all the family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  17. Patti Vesey says:

    Bob, Ryan and Eric,

    I met Debbie through Reach to Recovery about eigth or nine years ago. We had many great times together since then. I absolutely believed that if anyone could beat cancer, she could. It wasn’t until just a week ago that I accepted that she wasn’t going to make it. My heart is so sad for all of you. Deb was a really special person who loved all of you and was such a proud Mom. I know that you will have an emptiness in your heart,, but fill it with all the wonderful memories you have. Know that she will always live on in your hearts and in the hearts of all who loved her.

  18. Lib Coss says:

    I will remember Deb’s spirit that lives on in the picture
    of Deb that remains in my heart.
    I knew Deb most by the intensely beautiful
    sparkle of a shared fun and knowing in her eyes.
    Followed by a remarkable smile that was
    twofold in that she would smile with her mouth
    closed and it was reassuring that she was really
    caring and listening to me. Then she would
    break into a giggly grin and shine a fabulous smile.

  19. Lisa Baker says:

    Bob, Ryan, and Eric,

    My heart is heavy with sadness for you.

    I will always remember the evening that Deb first called me, over five years ago. She was my Reach to Recovery mentor when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. I had so many questions and Deb took the time to answer them and to tell me about many valuable ACS resources. She was my idol and inspiration and she will forever remain a part of my treasured memories.

    I am glad I got a chance to see her one more time last week. Thank you Bob for allowing us to come to your home to visit with her. Ryan and Eric, as someone who lost a parent when I was your age, I want to remind you that your Mom will always be with you because she is an integral part of you.

    Cherish your memories.

  20. Ginger VanDeLaare says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I got to know Deb well at Meijers and she was so thoughtful when my husband, Bert, was in the hospital. Just to talk with her was special. My deepest sympathy is with you.

  21. Sabine Cook says:

    I also met Deb through the Reach to Recovery only about 6 month ago.But from that short time I knew Deb I have to say she is such an insperation to me. All the stuff she went through and still being so positive. I am sure she will be greatly missed. And I am very thankful and blessed that I got to meet her>

  22. Ann Johnson says:

    So sorry for your loss. I met Deb through Reach to Recovery and she was always so upbeat and positive. I will miss talking with her. My prayers are with you all.

  23. Diane Olian says:

    I met Deb through Reach to Recovery – what an amazing woman.
    Always a beautiful smile on her face and a positive, upbeat attitude.I am so sorry for your loss – but I know that Heaven is celebrating her “homecoming”.
    What an inspiration she has been to those of us who were fortunate to know her –
    My prayers are with you.

  24. Ellen Newton Carpenter says:

    I remember Deb as a quiet, sweet person in high school. Reading all of these messages, I am seeing that she was far more than that. My deepest sympathies to her family.

  25. Jean Thompson says:

    Bob, I was so honored to spend some time with you and Deb in the last few days of her life. That time is precious and you were so kind to share it with so many.
    Deb was a huge part of the American Cancer Society family and she made the cancer journey so much easier for a lot of breast cancer survivors as a Reach to Recovery trainer and coordiator. I have been in the presence of truly good, totally unselfish people only a handful of times in my life and Deb will forever stand at the head of the list.
    When Greg passed I remember the quote, “When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.”
    Deb will remain a treasure for all of us.

  26. Nancy & wayne Hall says:

    God Bless! I will miss you. Love you and God Bless your family. I pray they will always have enough happiness in there lives. Thanks you for sharing with us Debbie,we will truly miss you at our family get togethers.
    Love Aunt Nancy

  27. Jerry Fahling says:

    Bob and Family. My deepest condolence on your loss. I have worked with Deb at Bronson for the last year and half, and most closely only since January. In that time I have found her to be among the most dedicated and personally committed employee’s I have known. She never wavered in her commitment to a job well done and in offering her help no matter what. It was a privilege to work with Deb and I will miss her.
    Jerry Fahling, Director Business Information Systems, Bronson Healthcare Group

  28. Joan Hale & Kids (Jennifer, Jessica, Jason & Laura) and Melvin Oisten says:

    Bob, Eric & Ryan… Our deepest condolences on your loss. If you ever need anything do not hesitate to call us.

  29. Mary DeRyke says:

    Bob, Eric & Ryan, I’m a member of “Just Ours” breast cancer suport group and met Deb a short while ago. I wish I had gotten to know her better. She was a very special lady and such a fighter. I know words mean little right now but you are in my thoughts and prayers. Oh yes, she made the best maccoroni salad I’ve ever had.

  30. Dave Burnham says:

    In 2005, Deb and I had a week long business training in Georgia. When waiting in the security line at the airport I showed her my drivers license so we could both laugh at my picture, and she showed me hers and explained the wig she was wearing. I never knew until that moment of her battle. Though I had worked with her for years, the lunches, dinners and small talk during breaks of training I felt I really got to know her. One thing was clear- Deb sure loved her family. I heard a lot about her sons and how proud she was of them. Her dedication to her job was unparalleled. May her family find comfort in knowing Deb was such a beautiful person and left such a positive impression on everyone she met.

  31. Cindy Morey says:

    My deepest sympathies to the entire family and Deb’s many friends. May you find comfort and peace knowing she is in God’s loving arms. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Deb since we were 17 years old. We worked through co-op here at Bronson in the same office. We both enjoyed reminising about those times and how we were both grateful to have had the experience of working in other positions and departments within the organization. How things have changed over the years! Recently, she shared her feelings with me and I was lucky enough to tell her how I felt about her, along with a big hug. She will be missed in the IT dept., as well as the entire organization. She was loved by many and leaves us with so many wonderful memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  32. Tracy Allard says:

    First of all I would like to say that my heart goes out to the family. When I was going through breast cancer, this wonderful lady would call me and console me, give me hope, and just talk if I needed someone to talk too. For those people that have not walked through the “breast cancer” experience, I will tell you that you feel like know one “gets the fear”, thats why it was such a blessing to have Deb call me on so many occations, I will never forget what she did for me. God bless her and keep her safe~

  33. Janet Westra says:

    I am very sorry for your loss. I spoke to Deb a few times and she was always kind and understanding. I know that she is with the Lord in His ever loving embrace.


    The Westra Family

  34. Michele Pulver says:

    There are no words….

    Please know you have my deepest sympathy, and are in my constant prayers during this time. Perhaps in time remember,
    “To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
    May Debbie live on in all of you…

  35. Jackie Ball says:

    I also met Deb through Reach to Recovery. I only had a few times to talk with her, but could tell that she was a very caring and compassionate woman. My condolences to her family. Treasure the memories.

  36. Judy Hewkin says:

    I was so sorry to learn of Deb’s death. We were in the same support group, Just Ours. She was always a joy to see her at our monthly meetings. All of us in the group will miss her. She put up a good fight. Last night we met and we will be walking in memory of Deb at the Race for the Cure on May 20th. Deb has been in our prayers at church as soon as I heard that she had a recurrence. Sunday morning before church, Becky, her cousin, had texted our paster informing him that Deb had passed away. So we prayed not only for Deb, but for the family. Ryan and Eric your Mom was always very proud of you and she loved you guys and your Dad very much.

  37. Wendy Hendricks Moyer says:

    Deb was one of the nicest, kindest people I ever knew in school. My heart and prayers go out to Bob and all the family.

  38. Julie (Renoos) Back says:

    So very sorry to learn of your loss. You are in my prayers.

  39. FH says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. There is a for sure hope. Jesus promised: “just as the Father raises the dead and makes them live again so the Son makes those alive to whom he wants to. Do not marvel at this the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his (Jesus) voice and come on out. (John 5:21,28,29)
    Yes Jesus promised that millions now dead will live again on this earth and have the prospect of remaining forever under peaceful paradasaic conditions. (Psalms 37:10,11,29). What a wonderful hope.

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