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In Memoriam: Deborah “Debbie” Bates Pierce

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           Family and friends of Deborah “Debbie” Bates Pierce are invited to attend a memorial service at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, 2011, at Blackwater United Methodist Church. Debbie passed away Monday, June 6, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born February 20, 1953, in Bogalusa. After graduating from Bogalusa High School, she attended Louisiana State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business education and a minor in English in 1976. She continued her education while teaching full time, earning her master’s degree in education from LSU in 1987. She taught high school English for 20 years before retiring from the public school system. After retiring, Debbie returned to school herself, earning her nursing degree from Our Lady of the Lake College in 1999. Debbie briefly worked as a registered nurse in the telemetry unit at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital before returning to work in the schools. She taught English at Starkey Academy in Central before moving on to become the school’s guidance counselor. After Starkey closed in 2007, Debbie again tried to enjoy retirement but was  drawn to the schools once more. She became guidance counselor at Central Private School in 2009, and earned her counseling certification while working. Debbie was an extremely kind and generous lady who loved teaching, learning, traveling, friends, and her family. She is survived by her husband, Gary Pierce of Central; her two daughters, their spouses, and children, Candi and Matt McCord of Central and their sons, Grant and Mason; Jennifer and Jason Carl of Central and their daughters, Madison and Miley; her brother and his wife, Tommy and Karen Bates of New Hampshire, their two sons, wives, and two grandchildren. Her mother, Frances Yvonne Thomas Bates and her father, Fielding “Jack” Adams Bates, both of Bogalusa, preceded her in death. The gift of anatomical donation was made to LSU Medical School in New Orleans. The family would like to thank Dr. Raven, and nurse Jessica Bruce of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Tracy Reilly and Dr. Kyle Dean of North Point Medical Center, Dr. Burggreen and Dr. Lobrano of Digestive Health Center, and Dr. Castine of Baton Rouge Hematology and Oncology. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Cancer Services of Baton Rouge or Blackwater United Methodist Church.

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