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July 9, 1959 ~ July 30, 2023 (age 64) 64 Years Old
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Debra ‘Debbie’ Loraine Sanchez was born July 9th , 1959, in Indio, California and passed away on July
30th , 2023, at the age of 63 years. She resided in Yuma, Arizona and passed away under Hospice of
Yuma care in the home she shared with her husband for the last 36 years.
She raised her family with her husband Robert ‘Bobby’ Sanchez, married 43 years last September 11th .
Debbie was extremely proud of her daughters and loved her sons-in-laws; Antonia ‘Toni’ and Mike Spex
of Winslow, Arizona; Bobbie and Jeremy Jones of Mesa, Arizona; and Amanda and William Koppelman of
the Yuma Foothills. Debbie never hesitated to brag about her girls’ accomplishments: Toni working with
Healthy Families America as a Family Support Specialist in Northern Arizona; Bobbie a licensed Engineer
in Arizona; and Amanda earning her Master of Education in Special Education. She spoiled all of her
grandchildren, Stacy Lynn Hayes Vega, Julian Davis, Alan Cuen Jr., Ami Gomez, Greg Koppleman, and
Ruben and Dillon Spex. Debbie enjoyed spending time with her great grandchildren Jesse, Antonio and
Emilio Vega immensely.
Debbie arrived in Heaven where her father Tony Garcia, sister Mary Tischler, father-in-law Bob Thayer,
grandchild Joanna Blue Cloud Hayes and many loved ones greeted her. Her mother, Diane Garcia
survives her along with her sisters, Stacy Garcia and Brenda Garcia, and her brother Tony Garcia; her
mother-in-law Connie Thayer and her brother and sister in laws. She will be missed by her nieces and
nephews on all sides of the family. Debbie was their eccentric aunt who kept track of all of their birthdays
in her day planner.
Debbie was a Detention Officer and Field Training Officer for the Yuma County Detention Center. Debbie
also worked at the Cocopah Casino as a security officer before she retired to be a full-time trophy wife.
When the girls were younger, Debbie was a full-time parent, a Daisy and Brownies troop leader, and part
of the Valley Horizon PTA. In her retirement she completed many projects around the house including
gardening and many sewing projects. She would mend clothes and stuffed animals that needed fixing.
Debbie enjoyed thrift shopping and would look for items to gift to friends and family. She enjoyed going to
the casinos to have dinner with friends and family and playing on the machines. Debbie visited her
daughters’ and let them spoil her. While visiting, she would do projects at their houses and even buy or
bring her own tools and lawn equipment. Debbie was constantly making a list of things to do and always
had a few projects in the works. You also needed to be careful around her because she loved to goose
people just to see them jump in surprise no matter where they were in public.
Debbie never passed judgement which made her a great Detention Officer. She was the type to always
make her bed, have lunch ready for Bobby, she was a caregiver to her late sister Mary and to her mother
who is still kicking. She would help whoever needed it and was a good friend.
Her viewing will be at Yuma Mortuary & Crematory located at 775 South 5th Avenue 85364. Family hours
are 10am to11am before the general public hours of 11am to 3pm. There will be a celebration of life
reception following services at Crane Middle School Gymnasium located at 4450 West 32nd Street, Yuma,
Arizona, 85364 beginning at 4pm to 6pm.
Plants are welcome in the celebration; Bobby and his girls will tend to them in honor of Debra.