Cover photo for Debra L Mcwilliams's Obituary
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1952 Debra 2017

Debra L Mcwilliams

July 13, 1952 — February 23, 2017

Debra L. McWilliams, 64, of Grand Island died Thursday, February 23, 2017, at her home.

A celebration of Debras life will be held at 10:30 A.M. Tuesday, February 28th at Apfel Funeral Home in Grand Island. The Rev. Caroline Price-Gibson will officiate. Burial will be in the Grand Island Cemetery.

There will be no visitation. Her wishes were for cremation to take place.

Memorials are suggested to the family to be designated at a later date.

Debra Lee McWilliams was born July 13, 1952, at Lincoln, Nebraska to Gerald and Alta (Copper) Russell. She lived with her family in Minden, Neb. in her early years. The family later moved to Arlington, Neb. where Debra attended Arlington Public Schools, and graduated from Arlington High School. She went on to study at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Following her schooling, she lived in Fremont for a short time. She then moved to Grand Island where she raised her three children. Debra owned and operated Debs Alterations in Grand Island for 30 years.

She met Henry McWilliams in 1987 in Grand Island and they were married in 1992.

Deb loved the time she spent with her family, her dogs, and also enjoyed fishing.

She is survived by her husband, Henry McWilliams of Grand Island; one daughter and son-in-law, Jessica and Jarrod Liske of Grand Island; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Jeff and Stacey Belohavy of Missouri and Jason Belohavy of Michigan; her mother, Alta Russell of Arlington, NE, two brothers and sisters-in-law, Greg and Gayle Russell of Arlington, Jerry Wayne and Kathy Russell of Elkhorn, NE; a sister-in-law, Carlene Russell of Des Moines, IA; twelve grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and cherished friends, Dixie Griess of Grand Island, and Ron and Roberta Kirkendall of Lincoln, NE.

She was preceded in death by her father, Gerald Russell; brother, Gary Russell; and grandson, Mason Liske.

Online condolences may be directed to the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Debra L Mcwilliams, please visit our flower store.


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