Deborah “Debbie” Lynn Blackwell Bridwell, 75, was released from the bonds of earth to be welcomed into the arms of her heavenly Father on March 12, 2023, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia.
Debbie was born August 18, 1947, in Fort Worth, Texas to J.F and Lillian Blackwell. She attended Eastern Hills High School in Fort Worth and graduated in 1965. After graduation she furthered her education at the University of North Texas and began
dating a dashing young man from her church youth group, Chuck Bridwell. Four years her senior, Chuck returned from his college studies to find the young lady he had known as a youth was now all grown up. The pair dated for two years before marrying at Sagamore Hill Baptist Church in September of 1967.
Chuck and Debbie moved to Kentucky to begin a career in church music ministry with Chuck serving as minister of music at First Baptist Church, Paducah. The pair later moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where they welcomed their daughters, Jennifer Lynn Bridwell in 1971 and Melinda Kay Bridwell in 1972. The family would move several more times in service to God, making their home in Coral Gables, Florida; Waco, Texas; and Gainesville, Georgia.
The Bridwell home was full of life, love, and adventure. Debbie was a devoted wife and mom who was joyfully involved in the lives of her girls and who faithfully supported and participated in Chuck’s church ministry. The pair lovingly welcomed seven different foster children into their home over an eight-year period.
Over the years, Debbie taught music, served as a preschool teacher, and even worked in school supply sales. She taught children’s choir for forty years, served as a sponsor for numerous youth choir trips and delivered food for Meals on Wheels to care for others in her community. She played tennis, pickle ball, and loved a good power-walk.
She and Chuck worked as enrichment entertainers on over forty cruises, did missions work across the globe including: Brazil, China, Ukraine, Czech Republic, England, Wales, Bahamas and Jamaica; and they enjoyed travel. The pair jumped at the chance to visit exotic locations in Oberammergau, to attend a Passion Play in Germany and to deepen their faith while visiting the Holy Land in Israel. But they equally found beauty stateside with a recent National Parks tour to Yellowstone. Debbie was full of energy, feisty and fun, and is probably already rearranging and adding decorative touches to her mansion in heaven.
Debbie was a devoted grandmother and enjoyed sharing her love of travel with her six grandchildren. She and Chuck were committed to making lifelong memories with their family and took every opportunity to imbue a sense of faith and family to those around them and to cement those values as their legacy.
A selfless and fearless example, Debbie bravely fought a 4-year battle with ovarian cancer and joyfully cared for her husband as he recovered from chronic Guillain Barre Syndrome. She remained hopeful and grateful even to the very end when Jesus called her home.
Debbie is survived by her husband of fifty-five years, Charles (Chuck) Douglas Bridwell, daughters Jennifer Howes (Jonathan), and Melinda Claudepierre (Jon); and six grandchildren: Joelan Howes, Julia Howes Dunn (Matthew), Jessie Howes, Kaley Claudepierre, Cade Claudepierre and Carson Claudepierre. She is also survived by her brother Michael Blackwell (Christy) of 7R Ranch Texas and her sister Lisa Moore (Kenny) of Granbury, TX.
She was preceded in death by her parents, J. F. and Lillian Blackwell.
There will be a Celebration of Life Service Sunday, March 19, 2023, at 3 PM at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church 3650 Brown’s Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA 30504.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation in her honor to Flat Creek Baptist Church 5504 Flat Creek Rd, Gainesville, GA 30504 or Samaritan’s Purse. www.samaritanspurse.org
Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemeteries, 2030 Memorial Park Road, Gainesville, GA 30504 is in charge of arrangements.
Send online condolences to www.memorialparkfuneralhomes.com.
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