Debra Kaye Wickman, whose heart was as vast as her entrepreneurial spirit, passed away January 11, 2024, at Jasper Memorial Hospital surrounded by her husband and children. Born November 8, 1949, to Leonard (deceased) and Clara Mae Braunecker, she was the second of 8 children. Her brother Mark, as well as sisters Karen and Jill preceded her in death. Surviving siblings include a brother Jeff, and sisters Jackie, Gayle, and Stacy. The focus of Debra’s world was her family—her husband, Dennis Wickman, and her children, Sally (Chris) Hackmann, Andrew (April), and Adam (Stacey), and eleven cherished grandchildren, all survive. Debra’s legacy is one of love, creativity, and selfless generosity. For Debra, family was the compass that directed her life, the joy that fueled her endeavors, and the love that inspired her generous actions. Each moment spent with family was precious, each memory a treasure that she held close to her heart.
A proud alumna of the Ireland HS class of 1967, and following graduation from Indiana State University, Debra started her career as a home economics teacher. When motherhood graced her life with three beloved children, her entrepreneurial journey began. A hobby of crafting doll clothes in the midst of raising a family, flourished into a business that would touch lives for over 45 years. As a revered member of the Toy Industry Association, she brought delight to children across the nation with her handcrafted doll clothes
Debra’s compassion extended beyond her immediate family. When the world faced the challenges of COVID-19, the same hands that lovingly created doll clothes, then crafted masks, acting swiftly when they were most needed. Her giving nature was further exemplified by the hundreds of doll clothes donated to children and charities, and rolls of fabric to church sewing groups to create blankets that brought comfort to hospital and cancer patients.
Her faith in God was an ever-present source of strength. Debra found beauty and solace in the flowers, trees, and wildlife of her garden, a reflection of the diverse and vibrant life she led. She taught her family not only to cook and sew but to live a life enriched with faith, generosity, and the importance of nurturing relationships.
In celebrating Debra’s life, we remember a woman whose generous, entrepreneurial spirit was matched only by her love for her family, and whose legacy is interwoven with the countless lives she touched. She lives on in the thriving garden of her family, in the warmth of the blankets she helped create, and in the joy of the children who cherish her doll clothes. Her memory, like the flowers she adored, will continue to blossom in the hearts of her family, a lasting tribute to the most important aspect of her life—the enduring love for her husband, her children, and her grandchildren. Her spirit remains a guiding light of love, generosity, and family devotion.
Mass will be held at 11 AM on Saturday February 3, 2024 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jasper, IN. A private burial ceremony will take place at a later date. A Celebration of Life will be held on February 3, 2024 at the Atrium of the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center in Jasper, IN from 12:30 to 4:00 PM. All times are EST.
Memorial contributions may be made to Jasper Memorial Hospital, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or favorite charity.