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Debra A. Rygiel

January 6, 2019 | 2 comments

Debra A. Rygiel, 53, from Onalaska, formerly from Chippewa Falls passed away unexpectantly on January 3, 2019 at home.She was born on February 12, 1965 to Joseph and Jean (Geist) Rygiel. She graduated from Cornell High School, Cornell, Wisconsin. Debra worked at the L. E. Phillips Career Development Center and the Chippewa County Courthouse.

Deb loved to bowl and participated in many Special Olympic Bowling Tournaments in Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire and Milwaukee. Some of her favorite pastimes were shopping, putting puzzles together and eating pizza. She also enjoyed listening to Brad Paisley (Country Music) and watching Hallmark movies. She always shared watching “Days of our Lives” with her Grandmother. She spent many hours with her favorite companion, her cat “Lucky”.

Debra is survived by her mother, Jean; two brothers Joseph (Susan) Rygiel and Edward (Nicole) Rygiel; four sisters, Terri (Jerry) Allen, Julie (Craig) Lodahl, Sharon (Herman) Chwala, and Brenda (Jeffrey) Thomas; maternal grandmother, Evelyn Geist; Godmother, Kathy Ciolkosz; along with many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

She is preceded in death by her father, Joseph; step-mother, Beverly; paternal grandparents, Paul and Jeanette Rygiel; uncle Stanley Rygiel; maternal grandfather, Theodore (Ted) Geist; uncle, Richard (Dick) Geist; cousins, Travis and Richie Geist; and godfather, Martin Ciolkosz.

A private Christian Burial Mass will be held at a later date.



  1. Tracy (White) Riedel

    I worked with Deb as her social worker when she lived in Chippewa Falls. She was one of my first “clients” when I first started working with Chippewa County DCP. At that time, she was living in an adult family home and wanted to move out in her own apartment to live independently. I was apprehensive. She was as well but was insistent. We put together a plan and found a place and some help for her for the few tasks she needed help with. I remain amazed at her courage and spunk in setting out on her life of independence. She had a fun personality and I am happy to learn she was able to have a cat to keep her company. I am glad I got the opportunity to not only work with her but also to get to know her. I will miss her smile and laughter.

  2. Jean Burns

    Sorry to hear of Debbie’s passing. Our condolences to the whole family. May she rest in God’s loving arms.
    Dan & Jean Burns

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