Debra "Lady" Joachim 1962 - 2023

Our mom, Debra "Lady" Joachim, the merrymaker; the fun-haver, the light, delight and star of our lives, continued on to whatever comes next on December 27, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was surrounded, as she always was, by the love and support of her family, the twinkling of her fairy lights and the home she worked so tirelessly to make cozy and comfy and welcoming for everyone.

She was born  August 17, 1962, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Janice and Ron Joachim. She was raised in and returned to settle in McMinnville, Oregon, after living in Sisters, Oregon, as well as Arizona, Florida and Georgia.

Lady was a rare breed in many ways and had a deep love affair with life. She collected experiences: people, places and beautiful things. She made friends everywhere she went with people from all ages, demographics, and walks of life. She was gifted with the sight to see the value each person holds inside them and gave kindness and acceptance freely to her fellows who rode this rock through space along with her. She loved to feed people. She loved to give what she had to make someone's journey a little easier, whether with material items or her intuitive way of knowing what a person needed to hear to lift them up.

Her greatest calm and pleasure came when communing with the ferns in moss-filled forests, sitting in awe of a storm on the ocean, or basking in the sunrise of a quiet desert. She loved to travel, and visited forests, jungles, and islands, always in awe of nature and the infinite magic it reveals.

Her gentle and kind nature was enhanced by the fierceness with which she defended and moved to protect not only her dear ones, but any other person or creature she saw being treated badly. She felt deeply for disenfranchised, broken and lonely people and was a person who could embrace without fear or hesitation that, yes, sometimes it just be like that in this mad, mad world.

She will most certainly be remembered by many for her epic playlists, her biscuits and gravy, her long, bejeweled dreadlocks, and her enthusiasm for life.

Lady was preceded in death by her dad, Larry Lee Meikle; and her son-in-law, Jason Schindelar.

She is survived by her children, Melissa Westgard, Amanda Schindelar, and Russel Rivinius; her grandchildren, Jacob Westgard, Maximus Hardy, Hazel Westgard, Althea Trask, Frank Trask, Mya Stover, Alex Stover, and Emily Boggs; and by her mother, Janice Meikle.

The family is planning a springtime memorial so as to be able to comfortably gather outdoors, as Lady would have wanted. She chose Earth Funerals to handle her final arrangements, and donations in her memory can be made through their website to plant trees in her honor.

Please remember: even though she told you a thousand times...Lady loves you.


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