Debra S. Marten, 64


Debra Sue Hamilton-Marten, 64, died at home in Raymond, on May 18, 2023, leaving all who loved her. According to her family, she never could get any clocks set to the right time, especially now as she knocked on heaven’s gate entirely too soon.

 A visitation will be held at The Community of Faith’s Living Center, 418 North Springfield Road in Raymond, from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 23. A catholic funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 24, and burial will follow in St. Raymond’s Catholic Cemetery. Hough Funeral Home in Raymond is in charge of arrangements.

“Debbie was the beating heart of her family, our guiding light, the swift kick in the pants to get us motivated, and the gentle hand that mended the broken pieces,” her family writes.  “She was there to cheer us on, to care for us when we fell, to worry about us even though we said we were fine and believed in us even through our doubts. Debbie faced all of life’s hardships and struggles with grace, grit, strength, wisdom, and wicked sense of humor. She was a momma bear and no kid could have ever asked for a better one.”

“Debbie had the gift of seeing people as they truly are, and a capacity to love unconditionally and without limits. She loved to shop and could smell a good clearance or bargain from miles away. She was thoughtful and giving, mention you really wanted something, she’d bring you eleven. She loved to garden, there were always fresh flowers in her home. She kept nearly every card she was ever given, including daily love letters from Ray and collected a lot of stuff, so much in fact we don’t know what to do with it all. If someone was looking for goofy pants of all seasons, clocks that don’t work, teddy bears, or a stick with a tag that says, ‘this is a stick,’ then she was your girl.”

She was quiet but funny, and above all a loyal and loving wife, and an incredible mother. Though as a grandmother, she was quite the rule breaker and rowdy type. She taught her grandkids they needed a cookie for each hand. She married her first love Thomas “Tom” Allen Hamilton on Feb. 26, 1979, just shy of six weeks after meeting him. In their 21 years together, they were blessed with four children, Amanda (Wayne) Ensley of Raymond, Thomas “Tommy” (Joanne) Hamilton of Springfield, Amy (Todd) Brown of Raymond, and Adam Hamilton of Raymond. Mr. Hamilton preceded her in death on Dec. 14, 1999. She found love once again in Raymond “Ray” Marten of Raymond and they were wed on April 14, 2006. With this union Debbie gained three bonus children blending two families together, Beth (Gregg) Interdonato, Brad (Krista) Marten, and Neil (Rebecca) Marten.

Mrs. Marten was born on June 24, 1958, the daughter of Estella Irene Harper and Billy Ray Smith. In her school years she attended St. Patrick’s Catholic School and graduated from Springfield Southeast High School class of 1976. She worked at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield for 23 years and co-owned Marten Insurance for 17. She loved Cardinals baseball, played softball from age 7 to 33, enjoyed a good movie from time to time, was a big fan of Yellowstone, Law and Order, and HGTV. She always had ideas for arranging her home and was very talented at decorating for every season and holiday. Some of her favorite songs to work to came from Dan Fogelberg, Alan Jackson, and Whitney Houston.

Debbie leaves behind a legacy of love for her family and a close circle of true friends. She was preceded in death by her grandmother Estella Boggs; parents Billy Ray and Irene; first husband Tom; brother Robbie Smith and half-sister Tammy Mundy; who have all gone ahead to heaven and have made a place to welcome her home.

She leaves behind her husband Ray; her four children; three bonus children; two brothers, Mike (Dawna) Smith, Mark (Sandy) Smith; three stepsisters, Juanita Smith, Jennifer “Jenny” Harper, and Georgann Johnson; 12 grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. The family is especially grateful to “the angels at Hillsboro Area Hospital and HSHS hospice, especially to Debbie’s nurse Pino for all the care and compassion received.”

Memorial Donations may be made to the Raymond-Harvel Volunteer Fire Department or Raymond-Harvel Ambulance Service.