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Debra Lorraine Feliz

02/14/1963 - 10/14/2020
Visitation Date: 10/21/2020
Visitation Time: 11AM
Visitation Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ 85201
Interment: Queen of Heaven at 1:30 PM

Debra “Debbie” Lorraine Feliz born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania February 14th, 1963 residing in Mesa, AZ unexpectedly passed away October 14th, 2020. She was raised in Passaic, New Jersey by her late parents Dorothy and Edwin Henry along with her brother Marc. Debbie is survived by her husband, Mark Feliz Sr. and their children: Ashleigh, Samantha, and Mark Jr. She is also survived by her six grandchildren: Molly, Luke, Scarlett, Ben, Evelyn, and Aurora. She was predeceased by her first daughter Stephanie in 1989.

Debra was a determined person in everything she did. Back East, she attended Syracuse University. She then traveled across the United States on a greyhound bus in order to relocate to Arizona and stayed with her good friend Joyce. Debbie attended college in Phoenix, until she was accepted by University of Arizona. During her schooling at U of A, is where she met her husband Mark Feliz Sr. She would tell her children that she was looking for a book in the library and bumped into him, where she exclaimed “Oh, I didn’t see you there,” in which he replied back “neither did I.”

After over a year of close friendship Debra and Mark Sr. fell in love and were married in 1985. They lived in Mark’s one-bedroom apartment. In 1986 they welcomed their first child, Stephanie and moved to a two-bedroom apartment for a short time before moving to a trailer of a friend of theirs who moved to Florida for a job. Due to the fact that Debbie was always thinking of others she made arrangements for her friend Joyce to move from Alaska and a bad situation to live with Mark and her. Although they were told they only had to pay for the park fees, they ended up moving back to their 2-bedroom apartment. Joyce moved to Tucson with them to the same complex and helped babysit Stephanie while Mark and Debbie attended college. Mark cleaned Joyce’s apartment as payment.

Soon after graduation Debbie obtained her bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and enrolled into the graduate program for the visually impaired along with her husband. Debbie dedicated her time to taking care of her daughter Stephanie while balancing graduate school, being a wife, and managing her home life. Debbie would tell us during this time you could find her sleeping on the hard, cold floors of the hospital room while Stephanie was receiving treatments for retinoblastoma.

Just after coming home from the hospital with Stephanie and newborn, Ashleigh, Mark went to Mesa for job interviews. Mark called Debbie to let her know he was hired with Mesa Public Schools so she packed up the kids and apartment while Mark stayed in Mesa with his Aunt. Debbie drove the old Buick station wagon loaded with two kids and belongings and her brother-in-law drove the U-Haul from Tucson to Mesa.

Debbie, in her true fashion of doing what had to be done to get things moving, got busy shopping for a house to rent, which she found in no time. That is how Debbie came to be in Mesa from 1988 to 2020.

Debbie continued to take on any challenge’s life threw at her. This included their oldest daughter passing in March of 1989, the birth of their third child, Samantha, and the birth of their fourth child, Mark Anthony Jr. This also includes working evenings as a school custodian in order to stay for the kids, being a fulltime driver/reader for her husband’s job position, and working nights and double shifts at a group home; all of this to make ends-meet. She finally took the State testing for Special Education, visually impaired certification and was hired as a teacher of the blind student. It is at this role she has had the greatest influence on people. If you ask any one of her past or present students, they will all say that she influenced them in a positive way. Her long work hours only emphasize how dedicated she was to her class kids.

Throughout all of this she never stopped thinking of others. She made sure her kids had the best birthdays and made sure everybody, kids and adults, had a Christmas present. She made sure that gift was actually meaningful to each person.

Debbie was an exceptional crafty person. Her hobbies include but are not limited to: sewing, knitting, crochet, needlepoint, scrapbooking, and baking the best brownies ever. Her most recent project was candle making with her husband, Mark. Her children grew up with homemade Halloween costumes, relatives would receive knitted blankets, and she was always ready to sew up her grandchildren’s favorite stuffed animal. “Oh, I should really work on my project” was a frequent phrase she would say. Her projects were always made with someone in mind; that shows just how thoughtful, loving, and genuine she really was.

She was an extraordinary, selfless person, a devoted wife, a loving Nana, a caring friend, and a remarkable teacher.


  • Ashleigh and family – what a wonderful person she must have been. I never met her, but worked with a Ashleigh for a lot of years; through the birth of her children and a lot of other things. Her mom must be where she gets her kindness and concern for others. I am so sorry for this loss. May God hold you all in his hands as you work through the grieving process. God Bless you all. Sincerely, Sandra Ward

  • John Ortiz. "tinker"

    My Condolences to all my Famalia…

  • Patricia tippett

    I’m so sorry for your loss ..prayers to the family

  • I am sad to hear of your mom’s passing. I know she was a great person. In our younger days I felt like family around you guys. God bless Debbie.

  • Charlene Madden

    Your mother sounds like a wonderful person. Hugs to you all.

  • Your mother was a great example of selfless service! Prayers to your family.

  • Im so sorry for your loss.
    Thoughts an prayers to you an family

  • Im so sorry for your loss,prayers going to all your family

  • Jennifer Jacobson

    My heart is heavy with the sudden loss of your mom. I am holding space for all of you during this extremely painful time.

  • Mark and family,
    I only knew Debbie for a year, but she was always kind and fought for the needs of her students. I most enjoyed watching the love, support and kindness that was shared between you and Debbie. My heart hurts for you and your children. I am sending all my best to you.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers to the family, and may the Lord give you strength to get you through this difficult time.. God bless

  • Linda Delligatti

    Ashleigh I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Esmeralda Patterson

    Feliz family, We are so sorry for the untimely passing of Debbie. She had ahead been such a wonderful caring person. Always putting others first. She will be dearly missed. Prayers to you all and may God bless you with the strength and faith to manage during this trying time. We love you. Esmo, Robert, Sierra and Tia Jenny.

  • To the Feliz family”
    It has been a blessing for me to meet and work with Mr Feliz and Debbie over the past 7 years. I feel I’ve been one of the many that have been enriched by knowing Mark and Debbie. Debbie will been deeply missed, I pray God will give you strength thru this difficult time, and give you comfort with her memories.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Deb was such an amazing person and she was always so kind. My prayers are with all of you.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. May God bless you with strength and comfort during this difficult time. Deb was an amazing and caring person. She will be missed.

  • Joanne Richmond

    Why did I find you so late? Mark, I’m Joyce’s daughter. I went to Syracuse University with Debbie. When things didn’t work out for her, I put her in touch with my mom in AZ. I last saw her in 1983 when I graduated from grad school. More than anything else, she wanted a family of her own. I rejoiced when she married and broke down when Stephanie died. I lost touch with her after that. I’m so very, very sorry she died so young, but am pleased you had more children together and then grandchildren too! I know she worked hard at being a wife and mother, but it was truly a labor of love. I’m so sorry I never got to meet you or your children, but even sorrier that Debbie and I lost touch. Joyce died in 1990.

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