(nee Gipson) was born on September 19, 1954 in E. St. Louis, IL and passed away from ALS on February 4, 2018.
Deb was raised in Collinsville, IL by her mother, the late Helen (McCain) Gipson Sommer and maternal grandparents, the late George and Irma (Dresch) McCain. She attended Collinsville High School, graduating in 1972. She received her BS in Psychology and Mass Communications/TVR from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1979 and her MBA from SIUE in 1982. For years she served on the Board of Directors of the SIUE Alumni Association. After graduating with her MBA, she want to work for the corporate headquarters of Graybar Electric Co. in Clayton. When she left in 1994, she was Manager, Price Maintenance. In 1994 she entered George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University where she earned her MSW in 1996. She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in 2001. After graduating from WU, she went to work for the Missouri Institute of Mental Health in St. Louis, at that time part of the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she worked with faculty on behavioral heath research & evaluation projects, as well as policy work in the mental health area. She retired in late 2014.
Deb was an animal lover he entire life, much to her mother’s dismay when she was a kid and tried to collect many pets, and her dogs were her four-legged children. She loved needlecrafts and cross-stitched many gifts for friends when they welcomed their babies into this world. Reading, games, puzzles and watching the St. Louis Blues play hockey were also joys of hers, and she always appreciated a health sense of humor.
Deb is survived by her husband, Edward (Ted) O’Neill, her pups Jasper and Emmett, her brother Barry (Wendy) Sommer, her sister Lisa (Mitch) Schaffer, he stepson Ben O’Neill, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, in-laws, an aunt and an uncle, and friends. Relationships were always extremely important to her, and her relationships with family and friends meant everything. She always tried to be a good daughter, granddaughter, sister, wife, cousin, niece, stepmother and friend.
Deb wished for everyone to not be sad but remember the goods times they had with her.
Services: Memorial visitation at KUTIS AFFTON CHAPEL, 10151 Gravois 63123 on Tuesday, February 13, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Interment in private. Memorials may be made to the Puppies for Parole (P4P) program (Missouri Department of Corrections), ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter, SIUE (for WSIE radio station), or St. Jude Children’s Hospital (Memphis).