Deborah Louise Spurgeon Lienhoop


Deborah Louise Spurgeon Lienhoop, a lifelong resident of Bartholomew County, passed away on February 25, 2018, at Our Hospice of South Central Indiana Inpatient Facility in Columbus.

Debbie was born on June 16, 1952, to Donald and Betty Green Spurgeon.

She married Carl H. Lienhoop on June 22, 1974, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Columbus.

She leaves behind a family that loved her dearly, including her husband, Carl, and sons, Joshua (Liana), Daniel (Jeanne), and Adam (Courtney), all who live within three miles of Carl and Debbie.

She has been blessed with five grandchildren thus far, Ryan David, Luke Joshua, Sawyer Daniel, Theodore August, and Lucille Anne.

She leaves behind her brothers, Mark (Judy) of Highland Ranch, Colorado, and David (Monica) of Columbus. She also has two nieces and five nephews.

After graduating from Columbus High School in 1970, she then graduated from Purdue University in 1974 with a B.S. degree in early childhood education. She then earned her M.S. degree in education from Indiana University in May of 1978.

Debbie was a true Boilermaker at heart, and loved to sing the Purdue fight song to her sons from the time they were born. She was a part of the original committee that helped establish the Bartholomew County Purdue Alumni Chapter.

A lifelong member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, she served on the school board, worked as a worship assistant, and was a longtime member of the hand bell choir.

Debbie was a member of the Kids and Kettles Extension Homemakers Club, as well as a longtime co-leader of the Happy Faces 4-H club with Diane Meier.

Debbie was a very dedicated wife, as well as a loving and firm mother and kindergarten educator.

She was always supportive of Carl’s farming and commissioner responsibilities.

As a mother, she was so proud of her sons, and wanted them to experience everything and not miss out on anything growing up. They participated in 4-H, little league baseball, and other sports at St. Peter’s.

As a kindergarten teacher at Rockcreek Elementary, she had the first full day kindergarten class in BCSC with the help of Jacque Douglas, Karen Garrity, and Dr. John Quick, among others. Her teaching was her true passion that was cut short by a devastating stroke on October 29, 2007.

Debbie loved vacations to Florida in her early years and later loved visiting the West, especially Wyoming — the Cheyenne Rodeo, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Jackson.

She loved her Labrador dogs, Sadie and Willow, and truly loved her daughters-in-law and her grandchildren. Debbie was extremely organized, a great cook, and loved and enjoyed Christmas.

The funeral service will be conducted at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 1, 2018, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church with Pastor Mark Teike officiating. Visitation will be 3-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Jewell Rittman Family Funeral Home and 9 a.m. to service time on Thursday at the church. Burial will follow at Bear Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Jennings County.

Memorial donations can be made to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana or to the St. Peter’s “Together We Live” campaign.

You are invited to view her video tribute, light a virtual candle and send a message to the family via the internet.