Deborah DeWelt Gelino, of Tulsa, OK, beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend to many and Grandma to a few, passed away Wednesday, February 17, 2021 after a brave, hard fought battle with Bulbar ALS and complications due to COVID. She was 70 years old. Deborah may have lost her battle with Bulbar ALS, but she remained courageous throughout her fight. Each and every day Deborah worked hard to stay as independent as possible, as the disease relentlessly attacked her body. She taught us all what resilience and perseverance really looked like as everyday became more challenging for her. Deborah was retired from Verizon, which included being employed at Wiltel, LDDs WorldCom, MCI WorldCom over the course of mergers and acquisitions.
Deborah is survived by her husband Mike (John) Gelino of Tulsa, OK, her daughter from a previous marriage Stephannie Herndon of Broken Arrow and 2 fur kids, CoCo and Max. She was the eldest of 6 siblings and leaves behind John Pierce (Jeannie) of Plano TX, Vernon Jr Pierce (Debbie) of OKC area, Juanita King (Tom) of Tulsa, Marilyn McMahan of Bixby, and Barb Dunham (Jerry) of Foyil, along with many nieces and nephews. Deborah was preceded in death by her mother Helen Pierce (Williams) and her father Vernon Pierce Sr.
Deborah was the Great Holiday Cookie baker. She would start baking cookies after Thanksgiving and wouldn’t stop until Christmas. She would temp you with every type of cookie there was and if that didn’t work, she had the secret sauce to pineapple upside down cake or her daughters favorite, cherry cheese cake pie. Deborah was an avid traveler and loved to fill her passport book with stamps from destinations far and wide. She loved to go anywhere especially if there was a casino involved. No surprise, Las Vegas was one of her favorites as well as all-inclusive beach vacations! Each vacation had its memorable moments; from Jamaica’s Blue Mountain bike ride when she was 65 years old, her Vegas trip with her niece, or a girls Trip to Mexico. She made the trips unforgettable! Deborah loved Disney. She loved going to Disney World seeing the characters and watching Disney movies. She was known for her collection of movies in general which made for great sleep overs at Aunt Debbie’s house.
Deborah was soft hearted for a rescue, stray, or injured animal. Her most recent rescues were her beloved CoCo Loco and Max. Deborah supported the Humane Society of Tulsa with countless donations. In lieu of flowers, Deborah would appreciate your support of animal rescue. Please consider a donation to your local humane society or animal adoption program in her name. Humane Society of Tulsa, 6232 E 60th St, Tulsa, OK, 74135. Humane Society of Tulsa | Donate (tulsapets.com). Or even better, adopt a new fur baby for you and your family.
Deborah will be greatly missed and loved forever. We will always be grateful for the love that was shared, remember the moments we made, and appreciate the time we had. To celebrate Deborah’s life, there will be a viewing Friday, March 5th from 2 to 4 PM at Brown Funeral Home and Cremations, 231 E. Commercial St., Broken Arrow, OK 74012. There will be a Family and Friends dinner at Main Street Tavern in Broken Arrow following the viewing.
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