Kuhler Funeral Home

A family is a legacy of love, a love that lasts forever.

Debra J. O’Neal

Debra J. O’Neal, age 56, of Wessington, died Tuesday, August 25, 2009, at the Violet Tschetter Memorial Home in Huron after a courageous battle with cancer.  Her memorial service was at 11:00 AM Saturday, August 29th, at the First Presbyterian Church in Wessington with the Rev. Allen Sager officiating. 

Debra J. August was born March 16, 1953, to Carl and Carol (Adams) August in Fort Bragg, California.  She graduated from Anderson High School in Anderson, California in 1971.

She met the love of her life, Duane, during his service in the military.  After Duane’s return from Vietnam in 1971, the couple shared their wedding vows in Brookings, South Dakota.  Deb and Duane resided in Wessington as they began their life together.  On August 17, 1972, Kimberly Dawn O’Neal was born prematurely to the couple.  In the few short days of her life, she made an incredible impact on them.  Although they could never prepare for the pain that is caused by the loss of a child, they continued on their journey and raised three wonderful children.

Deb and Duane moved from Wessington in 1975 and traveled to Wyoming, New Mexico and Michigan for Duane’s mining career.  They returned to their “home”, Wessington, in 1985 and started a business, Western Pump & Equipment, with Kirk Diekhoff.  They continued working together until Duane retired in 2007.  Deb continued working at Western Pump until her diagnosis with cancer in March 2009.  She was very dedicated to the company and always enjoyed working there. 

Deb spent her last days at home with her loving husband until her final day, when she was moved to the Violet Tschetter Memorial Home in Huron.  She was deeply loved by her family and the many friends she had met throughout the years.  Her kindness and compassion filled the hearts of many and will never be forgotten. 

Grateful to have shared her life are her loving husband and best friend, Duane; her son, Jeremy; two daughters, Brandi (Jeremy) Olson and Alicia O’Neal (Mike Koeck); five grandchildren, Christa Sievers, Jonathon Sievers, Elijah Olson, Isaac Olson and Alicen Koeck; three brothers, Carl “Franky” (Brenda) August, Mike August, and Mark August; two sisters, Chris (Larry) Kelley, Carla (Rod) Simons; her stepsister, LaVerne (Bill) Hodges; her stepbrother, Russell (Wanda) McConnell; her brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Lyle (LaVonne) O’Neal, Darold (Jean) O’Neal, Bill (Helen) O’Neal, John Vanderwaal and Maggie (Bernie) Kemper; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins; and many, many friends. 

She was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Kimberly Dawn at the age of four days; her parents; her stepfather, Russell McConnell; her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Alice and William O’Neal; her sister-in-law, Carol Vanderwaal; and her stepbrother, Billy McConnell.